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A M E E I C A. 








Thra Edition of Trollope's ''NORTH AMERICA" is pub- 
lished by special arrangement with the Author, Anthony 
Trollope, Esq., at whose urgent request it was under- 
taken, and to whom we pay the regular copyright. 


Philadelphia, June 20, 1862. 




Introduction 5 


Newport — Rhode Island 21 


Maine, New Hampshire, and Yerr.ont 35 


Lower Canada 51 


Upper Canada 70 


The Connection of fhe Canadas with Great Britain 87 


Niagara 101 


North and West 113 


From Niagara to the Mississippi 126 




The Upper Mississippi 147 


Ceres Americana 164 


Buffalo to New York 183 


An Apology for the War 194 


New York 205 


The Constitution of the State of New York 235 


Boston 243 

Cambridge and Lowell 208 

The Rights of Women 283 


Education 293 


From Boston to "Washington 311 




It has been the ambition of my literary life to write a 
book about the United States, and I had made up my mind 
to visit the country with this object before the intestine 
troubles of the United States government had commenced. 
I have not allowed the division among the States and the 
breaking out of civil war to interfere with my intention; 
but I should not purposely have chosen this period either 
for my book or for my visit. I say so much, in order that it 
may not be supposed that it is my special purpose to write 
an account of the struggle as far as it has yet been carried. 
My wish is to describe, as well as I can, the present social 
and political state of the country. This I should have at- 
tempted, with more personal satisfaction in the work, had 
there been no disruption between the North and South; but 
I have not allowed that disruption to deter me from an ob- 
ject which, if it were delayed, might probably never be car- 
ried out. I am therefore forced to take the subject in its 
present condition, and being so forced I must write of the 
war, of the causes which have led to it, and of its probable 
termination. But I v/ish it to be understood that it was 
not my selected task to do so, and is not now my primary 

Thirty years ago my mother wrote a book about the 
Americans, to which I believe I may allude as a well-known 
and successful work without being guilty of any undue fam- 
ily conceit. That was essentially a woman's book. She 
saw with a woman's keen eye, and described with a woman's 
light but graphic pen, the social defects and absurdities 
which our near relatives had adopted into their domestic 
life. All that she told was worth the telling, and the tell- 

1* (5) 



ing, if done successfully, was sure to produce a good result. 
I am satisfied tliat it did so. But she did not regard it as 
a part of her work to dilate ou the nature and operation 
of those political arrangements which had produced the 
social absurdities which she saw, or to explain that though 
such absurdities were the natural result of those arrange- 
ments in their newness, the defects would certainly pass 
away, while the political arrangements, if good, would re- 
main. Such a work is fitter for a man than for a woman. 
I am very far from thinking that it is a task which I can 
perform with satisfaction either to myself or to others. It 
is a work which some man will do who has earned a right 
by education, study, and success to rank himself among the 
political sages of his age. But I may perhaps be able to 
add something to the familiarity of Englishmen with Amer- 
icans. The writings which have been most popular in Eng- 
land on the subject of the United States have hitherto 
dealt chiefly with social details ; and though in most cases 
true and useful, have created laughter on one side of the 
Atlantic, and soreness on the other. If I could do anything 
to mitigate the soreness, if I could in any small degree add 
to the good feeling which should exist between two nations 
which ought to love each other so well, and which do hang 
upon each other so constantly, I should think that I bad 
cause to be proud of my work. 

But it is very hard to write about any country a book 
that does not represent the country described in a more or 
less ridiculous point of view. It is hard at least to do so 
in such a book as I must write. A De Tocqueville may do 
it. It may be done by any philosophico- political or politi- 
co-statistical, or statistico-scientific writer ; but it can hardly 
be done by a man who professes to use a light pen, and to 
manufacture his article for the use of general readers. Such 
a writer may tell all that he sees of the beautiful ; but he 
must also tell, if not all that he sees of the ludicrous, at any 
rate the most piquant part of it. How to do this without 
being offensive is the problem which a man with such a task 
before him has to solve. His first duty is owed to his 
readers, and consists mainly in this : that he shall tell the 
truth, and shall so tell that truth that what he has written 
may be readable. But a second duty is due to those of 
whom he writes ; and he does not perform that duty well if 
he gives offense to those as to whom, on the summing up 


of the whole evidence for and against them in his own 
mind, he intends to give a favorable verdict. There are of 
course those against whom a writer does not intend to give 
a favorable verdict ; people and places whom he desires to 
describe, on the peril of his own judgment, as bad, ill edu- 
cated, ugly, and odious. In such cases his course is straight- 
forward enough. His judgment may be in great peril, but 
his volume or chapter will be easily written. Kidicule and 
censure run glibly from the pen, and form themselves into 
sharp paragraphs which are pleasant to the reader. Where- 
as eulogy is commonly dull, and too frequently sounds as 
though it were false. There is much difficulty in expressing 
a verdict which is intended to be favorable ; but which, 
though favorable, shall not be falsely eulogistic ; and though 
true, not olFensive. 

Who has ever traveled in foreign countries without meet- 
ing excellent stories against the citizens of such countries? 
And how few can travel without hearing such stories against 
themselves! It is impossible for me to avoid telling of a 
very excellent gentleniau whom I met before I had been in 
the United States a week, and who asked me whether lords 
in England ever spoke to men who were not lords. Nor 
can I omit the opening address of another gentleman to my 
wife. "You like our institutions, ma'am ?" "Yes, indeed,'' 
said my wife, not with all that eagerness of assent which 
the occasion perhaps required. "Ah," said he, "I never 
yet met the down-trodden subject of a despot who did not 
hug his chains." The first gentleman was certainly some- 
what ignorant of our customs, and the second was rather 
abrupt in his condemnation of the political principles of a 
person whom he only first saw at that moment. It comes 
to me in the way of my trade to repeat such incidents ; but 
I can tell stories which are quite as good against English- 
men. As, for instance, when I was tapped on the back in 
one of the galleries of Florence by a countryman of mine, 
and asked to show him where stood the medical Yenus. 
Nor is anything that one can say of the inconveniences at- 
tendant upon travel in the United States to be beaten by 
what foreigners might truly say of us. I shall never for- 
get the look of a Frenchman whom I found on a wet after- 
noon in the best inn of a provincial town in the west of 
England. He was seated on a horsehair-covered chair in 
the middle of a small, dingy, ill-furnished private sitting- 



room. No eloquence of mine could make intelligible to a 
rrencbman or an American the utter desolation of such an 
apartment. The world as then seen by that Frenchman 
offered him solace of no description. The air without was 
heavy, dull, and thick. The street beyond the window was 
dark and narrow. The room contained mahogany chairs 
covered with horse-hair, a mahogany table, rickety in its 
legs, and a mahogany sideboard ornamented with inverted 
glasses and old cruet-stands. The Frenchman had come to 
the house for shelter and food, and had been asked whether 
he was commercial. Whereupon he shook his head. ''Did 
he want a sitting-room?" Yes, he did. "He was a leetle 
tired and vanted to sect." Whereupon he was presumed to 
have ordered a private room, and was shown up to the 
Eden I have described. I found him there at death's door. 
Nothing that I can say with reference to the social habits 
of the Americans can tell more against them than the 
story of that Frenchman's fate tells against those of our 

From which remarks I would wish to be understood as 
deprecating offense from my American friends, if in the 
course of my book should be found aught which may seem 
to argue against the excellence of their institutions and the 
grace of their social life. Of this at any rate I can assure 
them, in sober earnestness, that I admire what they have 
done in the world and for the world with a true and hearty 
admiration ; and that whether or no all their institutions 
be at present excellent, and their social life all graceful, my 
wishes are that they should be so, and my convictions are 
that that improvement will come for which there may per- 
haps even yet be some little room. 

And now touching tliis war which had broken out between 
the North and South before I left England. I would wish 
to explain what my feelings were ; or rather what I believe 
tlie general feelings of England to have been before I found 
myself among tlie people by whom it was being waged. It 
is very difficult for the people of any one nation to realize 
the political relations of another, and to chew the cud and 
digest tlie bearings of those external politics. But it is 
unjust in the one to decide upon the political aspirations 
and doings of that other without such understanding. Con- 
stantly as the name of France is in our mouths, compara- 
tively few Englishmen understand the way in which France 



is governed ; that is, how far absolute despotism prevails, 
and how far the power of the one ruler is tempered, or, as 
it may be, hampered by the voices and influence of others. 
And as regards England, how seldom is it that in common 
society a foreigner is met who comprehends the nature of 
her political arrangements 1 To a Frenchman — I do not 
of course include great men who have made the subject a 
study, — but to the ordinary intelligent Frenchman the thing 
is altogether incomprehensible. Language, it may be said, 
has much to do w^ith that. But an American speaks Eng- 
lish ; and how often is an American met who has combined 
in his mind the idea of a monarch, so called, with that of a 
republic, properly so named — a combination of ideas which I 
take to be necessary to the understanding of English politics ! 
The gentleman who scorned my wife for hugging her chains 
had certainly not done so, and yet he conceived that he had 
studied the subject. The matter is one most difhcult of 
comprehension. How many Englishmen have failed to 
understand accurately their own constitution, or the true 
bearing of their own politics ! But when this knowledge 
has been attained, it has generally been filtered into the 
mind slowly, and has come from the unconscious study of 
many years. An Englishman handles a newspaper for a 
quarter of an hour daily, and daily exchanges some few 
words in politics with those around him, till drop by drop 
the pleasant springs of his liberty creep into his mind and 
water his heart ; and thus, earlier or later in life, according 
to the nature of his intelligence, he understands why it is 
that he is at all points a free man. But if this be so of our 
own politics; if it be so rare a thing to find a foreigner 
who understands them in all their niceties, why is it that we 
are so confident in our remarks on all the niceties of those 
of other nations ? 

I hope that I may not be misunderstood as saying that 
we should not discuss foreign politics in our press, our 
parliament, our public meetings, or our private houses. 
No man could be mad enough to preach such a doctrine. 
As regards our parliament, that is probably the best Brit- 
ish school of foreign politics, seeing that the subject is not 
there often taken up by men who are absolutely ignorant, 
and that mistakes when made are subject to a correc- 
tion which is both rough and ready The press, though 
very liable to error, labors hard at its vocation in teaching 



foreign politics, and spares no expense in letting in day- 
light. If the light let in be sometimes moonshine, excuse 
may easily be made. Where so much is attempted, there 
must necessarily be some failure. But even the moonshine 
does good if it be not offensive moonshine. What I would 
deprecate is, that aptness at reproach which we assume ; 
the readiness with scorn, the quiet words of insult, the in- 
stant judgment and condemnation with which we are so 
inclined to visit, not the great outward acts, but the smaller 
inward politics of our neighbors. 

And do others spare us ? will be the instant reply of all 
who may read this. In my counter reply I make bold to 
place myself and my country on very high ground, and to 
say that we, the older and therefore more experienced peo- 
ple as regards the United States, and the better governed 
as regards France, and the stronger as regards all the world 
beyond, should not throw mud again even though mud be 
thrown at us. I yield the path to a small chimney-sweeper 
as readily as to a lady ; and forbear from an interchange of 
courtesies with a Billingsgate heroine, even though at heart 
I may have a proud consciousness that I should not alto- 
gether go to the wall in such an encounter. 

I left England in August last — August, 1861. At that 
time, and for some months previous, 1 think that the gen- 
eral English feeling on the American question was as fol- 
lows: "This wide-spread nationality of the United States, 
with its enormous territorial possessions and increasing pop- 
ulation, has fallen asunder, torn to pieces by the weight of 
its own discordant parts — as a congregation when its size 
has become unwieldy will separate, and reform itself into 
two wholesome wholes. It is well that this should be so, 
for the people are not homogeneous, as a people should be 
who are called to live together as one nation. They have 
attempted to combine free-soil sentiments with the practice 
of slavery, and to make these two antagonists live together 
in peace and unity under the same roof; but, as we have 
long expected, they have failed. Now has come the period 
for separation; and if the people would only see this, and 
act in accordance with the circumstances which Providence 
and the inevitable hand of the world's Ruler has prepared 
for them, all would be well. But they will not do this. They 
will go to war with each other. The South will make her 
demands for secession with an arrogance and instant press- 



ure which exasperates the North ; and the North, forgetting 
that an equable temper in such matters is the most powerful 
of all weapons, will not recognize the strength of its own 
position. It allows itself to be exasperated, and goes to 
war for that which if regained would only be injurious to 
it. Thus millions on millions sterling will be spent. A 
heavy debt will be incurred; and the North, which divided 
from the South might take its place among the greatest of 
nations, will throw itself back for half a century, and per- 
haps injure the splendor of its ultimate prospects. If only 
they would be wise, throw down their arms, and agree to 
part ! But they will not." 

This was I think the general opinion when I left Eng- 
land. It would not, however, be necessary to go back 
many months to reach the time when Englishmen were say- 
ing how impossible it was that so great a national power 
should ignore its own greatness and destroy its own power 
by an internecine separation. But in August last all that 
had gone by, and we in England had realized the proba- 
bility of actual secession. 

To these feelings on the subject may be added another, 
which was natural enough though perhaps not noble. 
"These western cocks have crowed loudly," we said; *'too 
loudly for the comfort of those who live after all at no such 
great distance from them. It is well that their combs should 
be clipped. Cocks who crow so very loudly are a nuisance. 
It might have gone so far that the clipping would become 
a work necessarily to be done from without. But it is ten 
times better for all parties that it should be done from 
within ; and as the cocks are now clipping their own combs, 
in God's name let them do it, and the whole world will be 
the quieter." That, I say, was not a very noble idea; but 
it was natural enough, and certainly has done somewhat in 
mitigating that grief which the horrors of civil war and the 
want of cotton have caused to us in England. 

Such certainly had been my belief as to the country. I 
speak here of my opinion as to the ultimate success of 
secession and the folly of the war, repudiating any concur- 
rence of my own in the ignoble but natural sentiment 
alluded to in the last paragraph. I certainly did think that 
the Northern States, if wise, would have let the Southern 
States go. I had blamed Buchanan as a traitor for allow- 
ing the germ of secession to make any growth ; and as I 



thought him a traitor then, so do I think him a traitor now. 
But I had also blamed Lincoln, or rather the government 
of which Mr. Lincoln in this matter is no more than the 
exponent, for his efforts to avoid that which is inevitable. 
In this 1 think that I — or as I believe 1 may say we, we 
Englishmen — were wrong. I do not see how the North, 
treated as it was and had been, could have submitted to 
secession without resistance. We all remember what Shak- 
speare says of the great armies which were led out to fight 
for a piece of ground not large enough to cover the bodies 
of those who would be slain in the battle ; but I do not 
remember that Shakspeare says that the battle was on this 
account necessarily unreasonable. It is the old point of 
honor which, till it had been made absurd by certain changes 
of circumstances, was always grand and usually beneficent. 
These changes of circumstances have altered the manner in 
which appeal may be made, but have not altered the point 
of honor. Had the Southern States sought to obtain 
secession by constitutional means, they might or might not 
have been successful; but if successful, there would have 
been no war. I do not mean to brand all the Southern 
States with treason, nor do I intend to say that, having 
secession at heart, they could have obtained it by constitu- 
tional means. But I do intend to say that, acting as they 
did, demanding secession not constitutionally, but in oppo- 
sition to the constitution, taking upon themselves the right 
of breaking up a nationality of which they formed only a 
part, and doing that without consent of the other part, 
opposition from the North and war was an inevitable con- 

It is, I think, only necessary to look back to the Revolu- 
tion by which the United States separated themselves from 
England to see this. There is hardly to be met, here and 
there, an Englishman who now regrets the loss of the re- 
volted American colonies; who now thinks that civilization 
was retarded and the world injured by that revolt; who 
now conceives that England should have expended more 
treasure and more lives in the hope of retaining those col- 
onies. It is agreed that the revolt was a good thing ; that 
those who were then rebels became patriots by success, and 
that they deserved well of all coming ages of mankind. 
But not the less absolutely necessary was it that England 
should endeavor to hold her own. She was as the mother 



bird when tlie young bird will fly alone. Slie suffered those 
pangs which Nature calls upon mothers to endure. 

As was the necessity of British opposition to American 
independence, so was the necessity of Northern opposition 
to Southern secession. I do not say that in other respects 
the two cases were parallel. The States separated from us 
because they would not endure taxation without representa- 
tion — in other words, because they were old enough and big 
enough to go alone. The South is seceding from the North 
because the two are not homogeneous. They have different 
instincts, different appetites, different morals, and a different 
culture. It is well for one man to say that slavery has 
caused the separation, and for another to say that slavery 
has not caused it. Each in so saying speaks the truth. 
Slavery has caused it, seeing that slavery is the great point 
on which the two have agreed to differ. But slavery has 
not caused it, seeing that other points of difference are to 
be found in every circumstance and feature of the two peo- 
ple. The North and the South must ever be dissimilar. 
In the North labor will always be honorable, and because 
honorable, successful. In the South labor has ever been 
servile — at least in some sense — and therefore dishonorable ; 
and because dishonorable, has not, to itself, been successful. 
In the South, I say, labor ever has been dishonorable; and 
I am driven to confess that I have not hitherto seen a sign 
of any change in the Creator's fiat on this matter. That 
labor will be honorable all the world over as years advance 
and the millennium draws nigh, I for one never doubt. 

So much for English opinion about America in August 
last. And now I will venture to say a word or two as to 
American feeling respecting this English opinion at that 
period. It will of course be remembered by all my readers 
that, at the beginning of the war. Lord Russell, who was 
then in the lower house, declared, as Foreign Secretary of 
State, that England would regard the North and South as 
belligerents, and would remain neutral as to both of them. 
This declaration gave violent offense to the North, and has 
been taken as indicating British sympathy with the cause 
of the seceders. I am not going to explain — indeed, it 
would be necessary that I should first understand — the laws 
of nations with regard to blockaded ports, privateering, 
ships and men and goods contraband of war, and all those 
semi-nautical, semi-military rules and axioms which it is 




necessary that all attorneys-general and such like should, at 
the present moment, have at their fingers' end. But it must 
be evident to the most ignorant in those matters, among 
which large crowd I certainly include myself, that it was 
essentially necessary that Lord John Russell should at that 
time declare openly what England intended to do. It was 
essential that our seamen should know where they would 
be protected and where not, and that the course to be taken 
by England should be defined. Reticence in the matter 
was not within the power of the British government. It 
behooved the Foreign Secretary of State to declare openly 
that England intended to side either with one party or with 
the other, or else to remain neutral between them. 

I had heard this matter discussed by Americans before I 
left England, and I have of course heard it discussed very 
frequently in America. There can be no doubt that the 
front of the offense given by England to the Northern States 
was this declaration of Lord John Russell's. But it has 
been always made evident to me that the sin did not consist 
in the fact of England's neutrality — in the fact of her re- 
garding the two parties as belligerents — but in the open 
declaration made to the world by a Secretary of State that 
she did intend so to regard them. If another proof were 
wanting, this w^ould afford another proof of the immense 
weigljt attached in America to all the proceedings and to all 
the feelings of England on this matter. The very anger of 
the North is a compliment paid by the North to England. 
But not the less is that anger unreasonable. To those in 
America who understand our constitution, it must be evi- 
dent that our government cannot take official measures 
without a public avowal of such measures. France can do 
so. Russia can do so. The government of the United 
States can do so, and could do so even before this rupture. 
But the government of England cannot do so. All men 
connected with the government in England have felt them- 
selves from time to time more or less hampered by the ne- 
cessity of publicity. Our statesmen have been forced to 
fight their battles with the plan of their tactics open before 
their adversaries. But we in England are inclined to believe 
that the general result is good, and that battles so fought 
and so won will be fought with the honestest blows and won 
with the surest results. Reticence in this matter was not 
possible ; and Lord John Russell, in making the open 



avowal which gave such offense to the Northern States, 
only did that which, as a servant of England, England re- 
quired him to do. 

"What would you in England have thought," a gentle- 
man of much weight in Boston said to me, "if, when you 
were in trouble in India, we had openly declared that we 
regarde(^l your opponents there are as belligerents on equal 
terms with yourselves ?" I was forced to say that, as far as 
I could see, there was no analogy between the two cases. 
In India an army had mutinied, and that an army composed 
of a subdued, if not a servile race. The analogy would have 
been fairer had it referred to any sympathy shown by us to 
insurgent negroes. But, nevertheless, had the army which 
mutinied in India been in possession of ports and sea-board; 
had they held in their hands vast commercial cities and 
great agricultural districts; had they owned ships and been 
masters of a wide-spread trade, America could have done 
nothing better toward us than have remained neutral in such 
a conflict and have regarded the parties as belligerents. 
The only question is whether she would have done so well 
by us. *'But," said my friend, in answer to all this, "we 
should not have proclaimed to the world that we regarded 
you and them as standing on an equal footing." There 
again appeared the true gist of the offense. A word from 
England such as that spoken by l^ord John Russell was of 
such weight to the South that the North could not endure 
to have it spoken. I did not say to that gentleman, but 
here I may say that, had such circumstances arisen as those 
conjectured, and had America spoken such a word, England 
would not have felt herself called upon to resent it. 

But the fairer analogy lies between Ireland and the 
Southern States. The monster meetings and O'Connell's 
triumphs are not so long gone by but that many of us can 
remember the first demand for secession made by Ireland, 
and the line which was then taken by American sympathies. 
It is not too much to say that America then believed that 
Ireland would secure secession, and that the great trust of the 
Irish repealers was in the moral aid which she did and would 
receive from America. "But our government proclaimed no 
sympathy with Ireland," said my friend. No. The Amer- 
ican government is not called on to make such proclama- 
tions, nor had Ireland ever taken upon herself the nature 
and labors of a belligerent. 



That this anger on the part of the North is unreasonable, 
I cannot doubt. That it is unfortunate, grievous, and very 
bitter, I am quite sure. But I do not think that it is in any 
degree surprising. I am inclined to think that, did I belong 
to Boston as I do belong to London, I should share in the 
feeling, and rave as loudly as all men there have raved 
against the coldness of England. When men have on hand 
such a job of work as the North has now undertaken, they 
are always guided by their feelings rather than their reason. 
What two men ever had a quarrel in which each did not 
think that all the world, if just, would espouse his own side 
of the dispute ? The North feels that it has been more 
than loyal to the South, and that the South has taken ad- 
vantage of that over-loyalty to betray the North. "We 
have worked for them, and fought for them, and paid for 
them," says the North. "By our labor we have raised 
their indolence to a par with our energy. While we have 
worked like men, we have allowed them to talk and bluster. 
We have warmed them in our bosom, and now they turn 
against us and sting us. The world sees that this is so. 
England, above all, must see it, and, seeing it, should speak 
out her true opinion." The North is hot with such thoughts 
as these ; and one cannot wonder that she should be angry 
with her friend when her friend, with an expression of cer- 
tain easy good wishes, bids her fight out her own battles. 
The North has been unreasonable with England ; but I be- 
lieve that every reader of this page would have been as 
unreasonable had that reader been born in Massachusetts. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the dearly-beloved friends of my 
family. My wife and I have lived with Mrs. Jones on terms 
of intimacy which have been quite endearing. Jones has 
had the run of my house with perfect freedom ; and in Mrs. 
Jones's drawing-room I have always had my own arm-chair, 
and have been regaled with large breakfast-cups of tea, 
quite as though I were at home. But of a sudden Jones 
and his wife have fallen out, and there is for awhile in 
Jones Hall a cat-and-dog life that may end — in one hardly 
dare to surmise what calamity, Mrs. Jones begs that I will 
Interfere with lier husband, and Jones entreats the good 
ofiBces of my wife in moderating the hot temper of his own. 
But we know better than that. If we interfere, the chances 
are that my dear friends will make it up and turn upon us. 
I grieve beyond measure in a general way at the temporary 



break up of the Jones-Hall happiness. I express general 
wishes that it may be temporary. But as for saying which 
is right or which is wrong — as to expressing special sympa- 
thy on either side in such a quarrel — it is out of the ques- 
tion. My dear Jones, you must excuse me. Any news 
in the city to-day ? Sugars have fallen ; how are teas ?" 
Of course Jones thinks that I'm a brute ; but what can 
I do? 

I hare been somewhat surprised to find the trouble that 
has been taken by American orators, statesmen, and logi- 
cians to prove that this secession on the part of the South 
has been revolutionary — that is to say, that it has been un- 
dertaken and carried on not in compliance with the Consti- 
tution of the United States, but in defiance of it. This has 
been done over and over again by some of the greatest men 
of the North, and has been done most successfully. But 
what then ? Of course the movement has been revolution- 
ary and anti-constitutional. Nobody, no single Southerner, 
can really believe that the Constitution of the United States 
as framed in 1787, or altered since, intended to give to the 
separate States the power of seceding as they pleased. It 
is surely useless going through long arguments to prove 
this, seeing that it is absolutely proved by the absence of 
any clause giving such license to the separate States. Such 
license would have been destructive to the very idea of a 
great nationality. Where would New England have been, 
as a part of the United States, if Ne\f York, which stretches 
from the Atlantic to the borders of Canada, had been en- 
dowed with the power of cutting off the six Northern States 
from the rest of the Union ? No one will for a moment 
doubt that the movement was revolutionary, and yet infinite 
pains are taken to prove a fact that is patent to every one. 

It is revolutionary; but what then ? Have the Northern 
States of the American Union taken upon themselves, in 
1861, to proclaim their opinion that revolution is a sin? 
Are they going back to the divine right of any sovereignty ? 
Are they going to tell the world that a nation or a people 
is bound to remain in any political status because that sta- 
tus is the recognized form of government under which such 
a people have lived ? Is this to be the doctrine of United 
States citizens — of all people ? And is this the doctrine 
preached now, of all times, when the King of Naples and 
the Italian dukes have just been dismissed from their thrones 




with such enchanting nonchalance because their people have 
not chosen to keep thera ? Of course the movement is rev- 
olutionary ; and why not ? It is agreed now among all men 
and all nations that any people may change its form of 
government to any other, if it wills to do so — and if it can 
do so. 

There are two other points on which these Northern 
statesmen and logicians also insist, and these two other 
points are at any rate better worth an argument than that 
which touches the question of revolution. It being settled 
that secession on the part of the Southerners is revolution, 
it is argued, firstly, that no occasion for revolution had been 
given by the North to the South ; and, secondly, that the 
South has been dishonest in its revolutionary tactics. Men 
certainly should not raise a revolution for nothing; and it 
may certainly be declared that whatever men do they should 
do honestly. 

But in that matter of the cause and ground for revolu- 
tion, it is so very easy for either party to put in a plea that 
shall be satisfactory to itself! Mr. and Mrs. Jones each 
had a separate story. Mr. Jones was sure that the right 
lay with him ; but Mrs. Jones was no less sure. No doubt 
the North had done much for the South ; had earned money 
for it; had fed it; and had, moreover, in a great measure 
fostered all its bad habits. It had not only been generous 
to the South, but over-indulgent. But also it had contin- 
ually irritated the South by meddling with that which the 
Southerners believed to be a question absolutely private to 
themselves. The matter was illustrated to me by a New 
Hampshire man who was conversant with black bears. At 
the hotels in the New Hampshire mountains it is customary 
to find black bears chained to poles. These bears are caught 
among the hills, and are thus imprisoned for the amusement 
of the hotel guests. " Them Southerners," said my friend, 
"are jist as one as that 'ere bear. We feeds him and gives 
him a house, and his belly is oilers full. But then, jist be- 
case he's a black bear, we're oilers a poking him with sticks, 
and a' course the beast is a kinder riled. He wants to be 
back to the mountains. He wouldn't have his belly filled, 
but he'd have his own way. It's jist so with them South- 

It is of no use proving to any man or to any nation that 
llioy luiv(' got all they should want, if they have not got all 



that they do want. If a servant desires to go, it is of no 
avail to show him that he has all he can desire in his pres- 
ent place. The Northerners say that they have given no 
offense to the Southerners, and that therefore the South is 
wrong to raise a revolution. The very fact that the North 
is the North, is an offense to the South. As long as Mr. 
and Mrs. Jones were one in heart and one in feeling, having 
the same hopes and the same joys, it was well that they 
should remain together. But when it is proved that they 
cannot so live without tearing out each other's eyes, Sir 
Cresswell Cresswell, the revolutionary institution of domes- 
tic life, interferes and separates them. This is the age of 
such separations. I do not wonder that the North should 
use its logic to show that it has received cause of offense 
but given none; but I do think that such logic is thrown 
away. The matter is not one for argument. The South 
has thought that it can do better without the North than 
with it ; and if it has the power to separate itself, it must 
be conceded that it has the right. 

And then as to that question of honesty. Whatever men 
do they certainly should do honestly. Speaking broadly, 
one may say that the rule applies to nations as strongly as 
to individuals, and should be observed in politics as accu- 
rately as in other matters. We must, however, confess that 
men who are scrupulous in their private dealings do too 
constantly drop those scruples when they handle public 
affairs, and especially when they handle them at stirring 
moments of great national changes. The name of Napo- 
leon III. stands fair now before Europe, and yet he filched 
the French empire with a falsehood. The union of Eng- 
land and Ireland is a successful fact, but nevertheless it can 
hardly be said that it was honestly achieved. I heartily 
believe that the whole of Texas is improved in every sense 
by having been taken from Mexico and added to the South- 
ern States, but I much doubt whether that annexation was 
accomplished with absolute honesty. We all reverence the 
name of Cavour, but Cavour did not consent to abandon 
Nice to Erance with clean hands. When men have politi- 
cal ends to gain they regard their opponents as adversaries, 
and then that old rule of war is brought to bear, deceit or 
valor — either may be used against a foe. Would it were 
not so 1 The rascally rule — rascally in reference to all 
political contests — is becoming less universal than it was. 



But it still exists with sufficient force to be urged as an ex« 
cuse; and while it does exist it seems almost needless to 
show that a certain amount of fraud has been used by a 
certain party in a revolution. If the South be ultimately 
successful, the fraud of which it may have been guilty will 
be condoned by the world. 

The Southern or Democratic party of the United States 
had, as all men know, been in power for many years. Either 
Southern Presidents had been elected, or Northern Presi- 
dents with Southern politics. The South for many years 
had had the disposition of military matters, and the power 
of distributing military appliances of all descriptions. It 
is now alleged by the North that a conspiracy had long 
been hatching in the South with the view of giving to the 
Southern States the power of secession whenever they might 
think fit to secede ; and it is further alleged that President 
after President, for years back, has unduly sent the military 
treasure of the nation away from the North down to the 
South, in order that the South might be prepared when the 
day should come. That a President with Southern instincts 
should unduly favor the South, that he should strengthen 
the South, and feel that arms and ammunition were stored 
there with better effect than they could be stored in the 
North, is very probable. We all understand what is the 
bias of a man's mind, and how strong that bias may become 
when the man is not especially scrupulous. But I do not 
believe that any President previous to Buchanan sent mili- 
tary materials to the South with the self-acknowledged 
purpose of using them against the Union. That Buchanan 
did so, or knowingly allowed this to be done, I do believe, 
and I think that Buchanan was a traitor to the country 
whose servant he was and whose pay he received. 

And now, having said so much in the way of introduc- 
tion, I will begin my journey. 




We — the we consisting of my wife and myself — left Liv- 
erpool for Boston on the 24th August, 18G1, in the Arabia, 
one of Cunarcl's North American mail packets. We had 
determined that my wife should return alone at the begin- 
ning of winter, when I intended to go to a part of the 
country in which, under the existing circumstances of the 
war, a lady might not feel herself altogether comfortable. 
I proposed staying in America over the winter, and return- 
ing in the spring ; and this programme I have carried out 
with sufficient exactness. 

The Arabia touched at Halifax; and as the touch ex- 
tended from 11 A. M to 6 p.m. we had an opportunity of see- 
ing a good deal of that colony; not quite sufficient to jus- 
tify me at this critical age in writing a chapter of travels in 
Nova Scotia, but enough perhaps to warrant a paragraph. 
It chanced that a cousin of mine was then in command of 
the troops there, so that we siiw the fort with all the hon- 
ors. A dinner on shore was, I think, a greater treat to us 
even than this. We also inspected sundry specimens of the 
gold which is now being found for the first time in Nova 
Scotia, as to the glory and probable profits of which the 
Nova Scotians seemed to be fully alive. But still, I think 
the dinner on shore took rank with us as the most memor- 
able and meritorious of all that we did and saw at Halifax. 
At seven o'clock on the morning but one after that we were 
landed at Boston. 

At Boston I found friends ready to receive us with open 
arms, though they were friends we had never known before. 
I own that I felt myself burdened with much nervous anx- 
iety at my first introduction to men and women in Boston. 
I knew what the feeling there was with reference to Eng- 
land, and I knew also how impossible it is for an English- 
man to hold his tongue and submit to dispraise of England. 



As for going among a people whose whole minds were filled 
with affairs of the war, and saying nothing about the war, 
I knew tliat no resolution to such an effect could be carried 
out. If one could not trust one's self to speak, one should 
have stayed at home in England. I will here state that I 
always did speak out openly what 1 thought and felt, and 
that though 1 encountered very strong — sometimes almost 
fierce — opposition, 1 never was subjected to anything that 
was personally disagreeable to me. 

In September we did not stay above a week in Boston, 
having been fairly driven out of it by the musquitoes. I 
had been told that I should find nobody in Boston whom I 
cared to see, as everybody was habitually out of town dur- 
ing the heat of the latter summer and early autumn ; but 
this was not so. The war and attendant turmoils of war 
had made the season of vacation shorter than usual, and 
most of those for whom I asked were back at their posts. 
I know no place at which an Englishman may drop down 
suddenly among a pleasanter circle of acquaintance, or find 
himself with a more clever set of men, than he can do at 
Boston. I confess that in this respect I think that but few 
towns are at present more fortunately circumstanced than 
the capital of the Bay State, as Massachusetts is called, 
and that very few towns make a better use of their advant- 
ages. Boston has a right to be proud of what it has done 
for the world of letters. It is proud ; but I have not found 
that its pride was carried too far. 

Boston is not in itself a fine city, but it is a very pleasant 
city. They say that the harbor is very grand and very beau- 
tiful. It certainly is not so fine as that of Portland, in a nau- 
tical point of view, and as certainly it is not as beautiful. 
It is the entrance from the sea into Boston of which people 
say so much; but I did not think it quite worthy of all I 
had heard. In such matters, however, much depends on 
the peculiar light in which scenery is seen. An evening 
light is generally the best for all landscapes ; and I did not 
see the entrance to Boston harbor by an evening light. It 
was not the beauty of the harbor of which I thought the 
most, but of the tea which had been sunk there, and of all 
that came of that successful speculation. Few towns now 
standing have a right to be more proud of their antecedents 
than Boston. 

But as I have said, it is not specially interesting to the 


eye ; what new town, or even what simply adult town, can 
be so ? There is an Atheneum, and a State Hall, and a 
fashionable street, — Beacon Street, very like Piccadilly as 
it runs along the Green Park, — and there is the Green Park 
opposite to this Piccadilly, called Boston Common. Bea- 
con Street and Boston Common are very pleasant. Excel- 
lent houses there are, and large churches, and enormous 
hotels; but of such things as these a man can write nothing 
that is worth the reading. The traveler who desires to tell 
his experience of North America must write of people 
rather than of things. 

As I have said, I found myself instantly involved in dis- 
cussions on American politics and the bearing of England 
upon those politics. " What do you think, you in England 
— what do you believe will be the upshot of this war ?" 
That was the question always asked in those or other words. 
"Secession, certainly," I always said, but not speaking quite 
with that abruptness. ''And you believe, then, that the 
South will beat the North ?" I explained that I personally 
had never so thought, and that I did not believe that to be 
the general idea. Men's opinions in England, however, 
were too divided to enable me to say that there was any 
prevailing conviction on the matter. My own impression 
was, and is, that the North will, in a military point of view, 
have the best of the contest — will beat the South ; but that 
the Northerners will not prevent secession, let their success 
be what it may. Should the North prevail after a two years' 
conflict, the North will not admit the South to an equal 
participation of good things with themselves, even though 
each separate rebellious State should return suppliant, like 
a prodigal son, kneeling on the floor of Congress, each wdth 
a separate rope of humiliation round its neck. Such was 
my idea as expressed then, and I do not know that I have 
since had much cause to change it. 

" We will never give it up," one gentleman said to me — > 
and, indeed, many have said the same — " till the whole ter- 
ritory is again united from the Bay to the Gulf. It is im- 
possible that we should allow of two nationalities within 
those limits." "And do you think it possible," I asked, 
" that you should receive back into your bosom this people 
which you now hate with so deep a hatred, and receive 
them again into your arms as brothers on equal terms ? Is 
it in accordance with experience that a conquered people 



should be so treated, and that, too, a people whose every 
habit of life is at variance with the habits of their presumed 
conquerors ? When you have flogged them into a return 
of fraternal affection, are they to keep their slaves or are 
they to abolish them V "No," said my friend, "it may not 
be practicable to put those rebellious States at once on an 
equality with ourselves.. For a time they will probably be 
treated as the Territories are now treated." (The Territo- 
ries are vast outlying districts belonging to the Union, but 
not as yet endowed with State governments or a participa- 
tion in the United States Congress.) "For a time they 
must, perhaps, lose their full privileges ; but the Union will 
be anxious to readmit them at the earliest possible period." 
" And as to the slaves ?" I asked again. " Let them emi- 
grate to Liberia — back to their own country." I could not 
say that I thought much of the solution of the difficulty. 
It would, I suggested, overtask even the energy of America 
to send out an emigration of four million souls, to provide 
for their wants in a new and uncultivated country, and to 
provide, after that, for the terrible gap made in the labor 
market of the Southern States. " The Israelites went back 
from bondage," said my friend. But a way was opened for 
them by a miracle across the sea, and food was sent to them 
from heaven, and they had among them a Moses for a leader, 
and a Joshua to fight their battles. I could not but express 
my fear that the days of such immigrations were over. This 
plan of sending back the negroes to Africa did not reach 
me only from one or from two mouths, and it was suggested 
by men whose opinions respecting their country have weight 
at home and are entitled to weight abroad. I mention this 
merely to show how insurmountable would be the difficulty 
of preventing secession, let which side win that may. 

"We will never abandon the right to the mouth of the 
Mississippi." That, in all such arguments, is a strong point 
with men of the Northern States — perhaps the point to 
which they all return with the greatest firmness. It is that 
on which Mr. Everett insists in the last paragraph of the 
oration which he made in New York on the 4th of July, 
1861. " The Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers," he says, 
" with their hundred tributaries, give to the great central 
basin of our continent its character and destiny. The out- 
let of this system lies between the States of Tennessee and 
Missouri, of Mississippi and Arkansas, and through the 



State of Louisiana. The ancient province so called, th? 
proudest monument of the mighty monarch whose name it 
bears, passed from the jurisdiction of France to that of 
Spain in 1*103. Spain coveted it — not that she might fill 
it with prosperous colonies and rising States, but that it 
might stretch as a broad waste barrier, infested with warlike 
tribes, between the Anglo-American power and the silver 
mines of Mexico. With the independence of the United 
States the fear of a still more dangerous neighbor grew 
upon Spain ; and, in the insane expectation of checking the 
progress of the Union westward, she threatened, and at 
times attempted, to close the mouth of the Mississippi on 
the rapidly-increasing trade of the West. The bare sug- 
gestion of such a policy roused the population upon the 
banks of the Ohio, then inconsiderable, as one man. Their 
confidence in Washington scarcely restrained them from 
rushing to the seizure of New Orleans, when the treaty of 
San Lorenzo El Real, in 1795, stipulated for them a preca- 
rious right of navigating the noble river to the sea, with a 
right of deposit at New Orleans. This subject was for 
years the turning-point of the politics of the West ; and it 
was perfectly well understood that, sooner or later, she would 
be content with nothing less than the sovereign control of 
the mighty stream from its head-spring to its outlet in the 
Gulf. And that is as true now as it was tlien.^^ 

This is well put. It describes with force the desires, am- 
bition, and necessities of a great nation, and it tells with 
historical truth the story of the success of that nation. It 
was a great thing done when the purchase of the whole of 
Louisiana was completed by the United States — that cession 
by France, however, having been made at the instance of 
Napoleon, and not in consequence of any demand made by 
the States. The district then called Louisiana included the 
present State of that name and the States of Missouri and 
Arkansas — included also the right to possess, if not the ab- 
solute possession of, all that enormous expanse of country 
running from thence back to the Pacific : a huge amount of 
territory, of which the most fertile portion is watered by 
the Mississippi and its vast tributaries. That river and 
those tributaries are navigable through the whole center of 
the American continent up to Wisconsin and Minnesota. 
To the United States the navigation of the Mississippi was, 
we may say, indispensable ; and to the States, when no 




longer united, the navigation will be equally indispensable. 
But the days are gone when any country such as Spain was 
can interfere to stop the highways of the world with the all 
but avowed intention of arresting the progress of civiliza- 
tion. It may be that the North and the South can never 
again be friends as the component parts of one nation. 
Such, I take it, is the belief of all politicians in Europe, 
and of many of those who live across the water. But as 
separate nations they may yet live together in amity, and 
share between them the great water-ways which God has 
given them for their enrichment. The Rhine is free to 
Prussia and to Holland. The Danube is not closed against 
Austria. It will be said that the Danube has in fact been 
closed against Austria, in spite of treaties to the contrary. 
But the faults of bad and weak governments are made 
known as cautions to the world, and not as facts to copy. 
The free use of the waters of a common river between two 
nations is an aGair for treaty ; and it has not yet come to 
that that treaties must necessarily be null and void through 
the falseness of politicians. 

"And what will England do for cotton ? Is it not the 
fact that Lord John Russell, with his professed neutrality, 
intends to express sympathy with the South — intends to 
pave the way for the advent of Southern cotton ?" " You 
ought to love us," so say men in Boston, "because we have 
been with you in heart and spirit for long, long years. But 
your trade has eaten into your souls, and you love Ameri- 
can cotton better than American loyalty and American fel- 
lowship." This I found to be unfair, and in what politest 
language I could use I said so. I had not any special 
knowledge of the minds of English statesmen on this mat- 
ter ; but I knew as well as Americans could do what our 
statesmen had said and done respecting it. That cotton, 
if it came from the South, would be made very welcome in 
Liverpool, of course I knew. If private enterprise could 
bring it, it might be brought. But the very declaration 
made by Lord John Russell was the surest pledge that 
England, as a nation, would not interfere even to supply 
her own wants. It may easily be imagined what eager 
words all this would bring about ; but I never found that 
eager words led to feelings which were personally hostile. 

All the world has heard of Newport, in Rhode Island, as 
being the Brighton, and Tenby, and Scarborough of New 


England. And the glory of Newport is by no means con- 
fined to Kcw England, but is shared by New York and 
Washington, and in ordinary years by the extreme South. 
It is the habit of Americans to go to some watering-place 
every summer — that is, to some place either of sea water or 
of inland waters. This is done much in England, more in 
Ireland than in England, but I think more in the States 
than even in Ireland. But of all such summer haunts, 
Newport is supposed to be in many ways the most capti- 
vating. In the first place, it is certainly the most fashion- 
able, and, in the next place, it is said to be the" most beau- 
tiful. We decided on going to Newport — led thither by 
the latter reputation rather than the former. As we were 
still in the early part of September, we expected to find the 
place full, but in this we were disappointed — disappointed, 
I say, rather than gratified, although a crowded house at 
such a place is certainly a nuisance. But a house which is 
prepared to make up six hundred beds, and which is called 
on to makeup only twenty-five, becomes, after awhile, some- 
what melancholy. The natural depression of the landlord 
communicates itself to his servants, and from the servants 
it descends to the twenty-five guests, who wander about the 
long passages and deserted balconies like the ghosts of 
those of the summer visitors, who cannot rest quietly in 
their graves at home. 

In England we know nothing of hotels prepared for six 
hundred visitors, all of whom are expected to live in com- 
mon. Domestic architects would be frightened at the dimen- 
sions which are needed, and at the number of apartments 
which are required to be clustered under one roof. We went 
to the Ocean Hotel at Newport, and fancied, as we first 
entered the hall under a veranda as high as the house, 
and made our way into the passage, that wo had been taken 
to a well-arranged barrack. ''Have you rooms?" I asked, 
as a man always does ask on first reaching his inn. " Kooras 
enough," the clerk said; "we have only fifty here." But 
that fifty dwindled down to twenty-five during the next day 
or two. 

We were a melancholy set, the ladies appearing to be 
afflicted in this way worse than the gentlemen, on account 
of their enforced abstinence from tobacco. What can twelve 
ladies do scattered about a drawing-room, so called, in- 
tended for the accommodation of two hundred ? The draw- 



ing-room at the Ocean Hotel, Newport, is not as big as 
Westminster Hall, but would, I should think, make a very 
good House of Commons for the Britieli nation. Fancy 
the feelings of a lady when she walks into such a room, in- 
tending to spend her evening there, and finds six or seven 
other ladies located on various sofas at terrible distances, 
all strangers to her. She has come to Newport probably 
to enjoy herself; and as, in accordance with the customs of 
the place, she has dined at two, she has nothing before her 
for the evening but the society of that huge, furnished cav- 
ern. Her husband, if she have one, or her father, or her 
lover, has probably entered the room with her. But a man 
has never the courage to endure such a position long. He 
sidles out with some muttered excuse, and seeks solace with 
a cigar. The lady, after half an hour of contemplation, 
creeps silently near some companion in the desert, and sug- 
gests in a whisper that Newport does not seem to be very 
full at present. 

We stayed there for a week, and were very melancholy; 
but in our melancholy we still talked of the war. Ameri- 
cans are said to be given to bragging, and it is a sin of 
which I cannot altogether acquit them. But I have con- 
stantly been surprised at hearing the Northern men speak 
of their own military achievements with anything but self- 
praise. " We've been whipped, sir ; and we shall be whipped 
again before we've done ; uncommon well whipped we shall 
be." "We began cowardly, and were afraid to send our 
own regiments through one of our own cities." This alluded 
to a demand that had been made on the Government that 
troops going to Washington should not be sent through 
Baltimore, because of the strong feeling for rebellion which 
was known to exist in that city. President Lincoln com- 
plied with this request, thinking it well to avoid a collision 
between the mob and the soldiers. "We began cowardly, 
and now we're going on cowardly, and darn't attack them. 
Well; when we've been whipped often enough, then we 
shall learn the trade." Now all this — and I heard much 
of such a nature — could not be called boasting. But yet 
with it all there was a substratum of confidence. I have 
heard Northern gentlemen complaining of the President, 
complaining of all his ministers, one after another, com- 
plaining of the contractors who were robbing the army, of 
the commanders who did not know how to command the 



army, and of the army itself, which did not know how to 
obey; but I do not remember that I have discussed the 
matter with any Northerner who would admit a doubt as to 
ultimate success. 

We were certainly rather melancholy at Newport, and the 
empty house may perhaps have given its tone to the discus- 
sions on the war. I confess that I could not stand the 
drawing-room — the ladies' drawing-room, as such like 
rooms are always called at the hotels — and that I basely 
deserted my wife. I could not stand it either here or else- 
where, and it seemed to me that other husbands — ay, and 
even lovers — were as hard pressed as myself. I protest 
that there is no spot on the earth's surface so dear to me as 
my own drawing-room, or rather my wife's drawing-room, 
at home ; that I am not a man given hugely to clubs, but one 
rather rejoicing in the rustle of petticoats. I like to have 
women in the same room with me. But at these hotels I 
found myself driven away — propelled as it were by some 
unknown force — to absent myself from the feminine haunts. 
Anything was more palatable than them, even ''liquoring 
up" at a nasty bar, or smoking in a comfortless reading- 
room among a deluge of American newspapers. And I 
protest also — hoping as I do so that I may say much in 
this book to prove the truth of such protestation — that 
this comes from no fault of the American women. They 
are as lovely as our own women. Taken generally, they 
are better instructed, though perhaps not better educated. 
They are seldom troubled with mauvaise honte; I do not 
say it in irony, but begging that the words may be taken at 
their proper meaning. They can always talk, and very 
often can talk well. But when assembled together in these 
vast, cavernous, would-be luxurious, but in truth horribly 
comfortless hotel drawing-rooms, they are unapproachable. 
I have seen lovers, whom I have known to be lovers, unable 
to remain five minutes in the same cavern with their beloved 

And then the music I There is always a piano in a hotel 
drawing-room, on which, of course, some one of the forlorn 
ladies is generally employed. I do not suppose that these 
pianos are in fact, as a rule, louder and harsher, more vio- 
lent and less musical, than other instruments of the kind. 
They seem to be so, but that, I take it, arises from the ex- 
ceptional mental depression of those who have to listen to 




them. Then the ladies, or probably some one lady, will 
sing, and as she hears her own voice ring and echo through 
the lofty corners and round the empty walls, she is surprised 
at her own force, and with increased efforts sings louder 
and still louder. She is tempted to fancy that she is sud- 
denly gifted with some power of vocal melody unknown to 
her before, and, filled with the glory of her own perform- 
ance, shouts till the whole house rings. At such moments 
she at least is happy, if no one else is so. Looking at the 
general sadness of her position, who can grudge her such 
happiness ? 

And then the children — babies, I should say if I were 
speaking of English bairns of their age; but seeing that 
they are Americans, I hardly dare to call them children. 
The actual age of these perfectly-civilized and highly-edu- 
cated beings may be from three to four. One will often 
see five or six such seated at the long dinner-table of the 
hotel, breakfasting and dining with their elders, and going 
through the ceremony with all the gravity, and more than 
all the decorum, of their grandfathers. When I was three 
years old I had not yet, as I imagine, been promoted be- 
yond a silver spoon of my own wherewith to eat my bread 
and milk in the nursery; and I feel assured that I was 
under the immediate care of a nursemaid, as I gobbled up 
my minced mutton mixed with potatoes and gravy. But at 
hotel life in the States the adult infant lisps to the waiter 
for everything at table, handles his fish with epicurean deli- 
cacy, is choice in his selection of pickles, very particular 
that his beef-steak at breakfast shall be hot, and is instant in 
his demand for fresh ice in his water. But perhaps his, or 
in this case her, retreat from the room when the meal is 
over, is the chef-d''ceuvre of the whole performance. The 
little, precocious, full-blown beauty of four signifies that she 
has completed her meal — or is ''through" her dinner, as she 
would express it — by carefully extricating herself from the 
napkin which has been tucked around her. Then the waiter, 
ever attentive to her movements, draws back the chair on 
which she is seated, and the young lady glides to the floor. 
A little girl in Old England would scramble down, but little 
girls in New England never scramble. Her father and 
mother, who are no more than her chief ministers, walk 
before her out of the saloon, and then she — swims after 
them. But swimming is not the proper word. Fishes, in 



making their way through the water, assist, or ratlier im- 
pede, their motion with no dorsal wriggle. No animal taught 
to move directly by its Creator adopts a gait so useless, and 
at the same time so graceless. Many women, having re- 
ceived their lessons in walking from a less eligible instructor, 
do move in this way, and such women this unfortunate lit- 
tle lady has been instructed to copy. The peculiar step to 
which I allude is to be seen often on the boulevards in 
Paris. It is to be seen more often in second-rate French 
towns, and among fourth-rate French women. Of all signs 
in women betokening vulgarity^ bad taste, and aptitude to 
bad morals, it is the surest. And this is the gait of going 
which American mothers — some American mothers I should 
say — love to teach their daughters! As a comedy at a 
hotel it is very delightful, but in private life I should object 
to it. 

To me Newport could never be a place charming by rea- 
son of its own charms. That it is a very pleasant place 
when it is full of people and the people are in spirits and 
happy, I do not doubt. But then the visitors would bring, 
as far as I am concerned, the pleasantness with them. The 
coast is not fine. To those who know the best portions of 
the coast of Wales or Cornwall — or better still, the western 
coast of Ireland, of Clare and Kerry for instance — it would 
not be in any way remarkable. It is by no means equal to 
Dieppe or Biarritz, and not to be talked of in the same 
breath with Spezzia. The hotels, too, are all built away 
from the sea ; so that one cannot sit and watch the play of 
the waves from one's windows. Nor are there pleasant 
rambling paths down among the rocks, and from one short 
strand to another. There is excellent bathing for those 
who like bathing on shelving sand. I don't. The spot is 
about half a mile from the hotels, and to this the bathers 
are carried in omnibuses. Till one o'clock ladies bathe, 
which operation, however, does not at all militate against 
the bathing of men, but rather necessitates it as regards 
those men who have ladies with them. For here ladies and 
gentlemen bathe in decorous dresses, and are very polite to 
each other. I must say that I think the ladies have the 
best of it. My idea of sea bathing, for my own gratifica- 
tion, is not compatible with a full suit of clothing. I own 
that my tastes are vulgar, and perhaps indecent ; but I love 
to jump into the deep, clear sea from off a rock, and I love 



to be hampered by no outward impediments as I do so. 
For ordinary bathers, for all ladies, and for men less savage 
in their instincts than 1 am, the bathing at Newport is very 

The private houses — villa residences as they would be 
termed by an auctioneer in England — are excellent. Many 
of them are, in fact, large mansions, and are surrounded 
with grounds which, as the shrubs grow up, will be very 
beautiful. Some have large, well-kept lawns, stretching 
down to the rocks, and these, to my taste, give the charm 
to Newport. They extend about two miles along the coast. 
Should my lot have made me a citizen of the United States, 
I should have had no objection to become the possessor of 
one of these "villa residences;" but I do not think that 
I should have " gone in" for hotel life at Newport. 

We hired saddle-horses, and rode out nearly the length 
of the island. It was all very well, but there was little in 
it remarkable either as regards cultivation or scenery. We 
found nothing that it would be possible either to describe 
or remember. The Americans of the United States have 
had time to build and populate vast cities, but they have 
not yet had time to surround themselves with pretty scenery. 
Outlying grand scenery is given by nature ; but the pretti- 
ness of home scenery is a work of art. It comes from the 
thorough draining of land, from the planting and subse- 
quent thinning of trees, from the controlling of waters, and 
constant use of minute patches of broken land. In another 
hundred years or so, Rhode Island may be, perhaps, as 
pretty as the Isle of Wight. The horses which we got 
were not good. They were unhandy and badly mouthed, 
and that which my wife rode was altogether ignorant of the 
art of walking. We hired them from an Englishman who 
had established himself at New York as a riding-master for 
ladies, and who had come to Newport for the season on the 
same business. He complained to me with much bitterness 
of the saddle-horses which came in his way — of course 
thinking that it was the special business of a country to 
produce saddle-horses, as I think it the special business of 
a country to produce pens, ink, and paper of good qual- 
ity. According to him, riding has not yet become an Amer- 
ican art, and hence the awkwardness of American horses. 
''Lord bless you, sir! they don't give an animal a chance 
of a mouth." In this he alluded only, I presume, to saddle- 



horses. I know nothing of the trotting horses, but I sliould 
imagine that a fine mouth must be an essential requisite for 
a trotting match in harness. As regards riding at New- 
port, we were not tempted to repeat the experiment. The 
number of carriages which we saw there — remembering as 
I did that the place was comparatively empty — and their 
general smartness, surprised me very much. It seemed that 
every lady, with a house of her own, had also her own car- 
riage. These carriages were always open, and the law of 
the land imperatively demands that the occupants shall 
cover their knees with a worked worsted apron of brilliant 
colors. These aprons at first I confess seemed tawdry; 
but the eye soon becomes used to bright colors, in carriage 
aprons as well as in architecture, and I soon learned to like 

Rhode Island, as the State is usually called, is the small- 
est State in the Union. I may perhaps best show its dis- 
parity to other States by saying that New York extends 
about two hundred and fifty miles from north to south, and 
the same distance from east to west; whereas the State 
called Rhode Island is about forty miles long by twenty 
broad, independently of certain small islands. It would, in 
fact, not form a considerable addition if added on to many 
of the other States. Nevertheless, it has all the same 
powers of- self-government as are possessed by such nation- 
alities as the States of New York and Pennsylvania, and 
sends two Senators to the Senate at Washington, as do 
those enormous States. Small as the State is, Rhode Island 
itself forms but a small portion of it. The authorized and 
proper name of the State is Providence Plantation and 
Rhode Island. Roger Williams was the first founder of 
the colony, and he established himself on the mainland at a 
spot which he called Providence. Here now stands the City 
of Providence, the chief town of the State; and a thriving, 
comfortable town it seems to be, full of banks, fed by rail- 
ways and steamers, and going ahead quite as quickly as 
Roger Williams could in his fondest hopes have desired. 

Rhode Island, as I have said, has all the attributes of 
government in common with her stouter and more famous 
sisters. She has a governor, and an upper house and a 
lower house of legislature ; and she is somewhat fantastic 
in the use of these constitutional powers, for she calls on 
them to sit now in one town and now in another. Provi- 



dence is the capital of the State; but the Rhode Island 
parliament sits sometimes at Providence and sometimes at 
Newport. At stated times also it has to collect itself at 
Bristol, and at other stated times at Kingston, and at others 
at East Greenwich. Of all legislative assemblies it is the 
most peripatetic. Universal suffrage does not absolutely 
prevail in this State, a certain property qualification being 
necessary to confer a right to vote even for the State rep- 
resentatives. I should think it would be well for all parties 
if the whole State could be swallowed up by Massachu- 
setts or by Connecticut, either of which lie conveniently for 
the feat; but I presume that any suggestion of such a 
nature would be regarded as treason by the men of Provi- 
dence Plantation. 

We returned back to Boston by Attleborough, a town at 
which, in ordinary times, the whole population is supported 
by the jewelers' trade. It is a place with a specialty, upon 
which specialty it has thriven well and become a town. 
But the specialty is one ill adapted for times of w^ar ; and 
we were assured that the trade was for the present at an 
end. What man could now-a-days buy jewels, or even what 
woman, seeing that everything would be required for the 
war ? I do not say that such abstinence from luxury has 
been begotten altogether by a feeling of patriotism. The 
direct taxes which all Americans will now be called on to 
pay, have had and will have much to do with such absti- 
nence. In the mean time the poor jewelers of Attleborough 
have gone altogether to the wall. 





Perhaps I ought to assume that all the world in Eng- 
land knows that that portion of the United States called 
New England consists of the six States of Maine, New 
Hampshire, Yermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode 
Island. This is especially the land of Yankees, and none 
can properly be called Yankees but those who belong to 
New England. I have named the States as nearly as may 
be in order from the north downward. Of Rhode Island, 
the smallest State in the Union, I have already said what 
little I have to say. Of these six States Boston may be 
called the capital. Not that it is so in any civil or political 
sense; it is simply the capital of Massachusetts. But as it 
is the Athens of the Western world ; as it was the cradle 
of American freedom ; as everybody of course knows that 
into Boston harbor was thrown the tea which George III. 
would tax, and that at Boston, on account of that and sim- 
ilar taxes, sprang up the new revolution ; and as it has 
grown in wealth, and fame, and size beyond other towns in 
New England, it may be allowed to us to regard it as the 
capital of these six Northern States, without guilt of lese 
majeste toward the other five. To me, I confess this North- 
ern division of our once-unruly colonies is, and always has 
been, the dearest. I am no Puritan myself, and fancy 
that, had I lived in the days of the Puritans, I should have 
been anti-Puritan to the full extent of my capabilities. 
But I should have been so through ignorance and prejudice, 
and actuated by that love of existing rights and wrongs 
which men call loyalty. If the Canadas were to rebel now, 
I should be for putting down the Canadians with a strong 
hand; but not the less have I an idea that it will become 
the Canadas to rebel and assert their independence at some 
future period, unless it be conceded to them without such 
rebellion. Who, on looking back, can now refuse to admire 



the political aspirations of the English Puritans, or decline 
to acknowledge the beauty and fitness of what they did? It 
was by them that these States of New England were col- 
onized. They came hither, stating themselves to be pil- 
grims, and as such they first placed their feet on that hal- 
lowed rock at Plymouth, on the shore of Massachusetts. 
They came here driven by no thirst of conquest, by no 
greed for gold, dreaming of no Western empire such as 
Cortez had achieved and Raleigh had meditated. They 
desired to earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, wor- 
shiping God according to . their own lights, living in har- 
mony under their own laws, and feeling that no master 
could claim a right to put a heel upon their necks. And be 
it remembered that here in England, in those days, earthly 
masters were still apt to put their heels on the necks of 
men. The Star Chamber was gone, but Jeffreys had not yet 
reigned. What earthly aspirations were ever higher than 
these, or more manly ? And what earthly efforts ever led to 
grander results ? 

We determined to go to Portland, in Maine, from thence 
to the White Mountains in Jvew Hampshire — the American 
Alps, as they love to call them — and then on to Que- 
bec, and up through the two Canadas to Niagara; and this 
route we followed. From Boston to Portland we traveled 
by railroad — the carriages on which are in America always 
called cars. And here I beg, once for all, to enter my pro- 
test loudly against the manner in which these conveyances 
are conducted. The one grand fault — there are other 
smaller faults — but the one grand fault is that they admit 
but one class. Two reasons for this are given. The first 
is that the finances of the companies will not admit of a 
divided accommodation; and the second is that the repub- 
lican nature of the people will not brook a superior or 
aristocratic classification of traveling. As regards the 
first, I do not in the least believe in it. If a more expensive 
manner of railway traveling will pay in England, it would 
surely do so here. Were a better class of carriages organ- 
ized, as large a portion of the population would use them 
in the United States as in any country in Europe. And it 
seems to be evident that in arranging that there shall be 
only one rate of traveling, the price is enhanced on poor 
travelers exactly in proportion as it is made cheap to those 
who are not poor. For the poorer classes, traveling iu 



America is by no means cheap, the averao^e rate being, as 
far as I can judge, fully three halfpence a mile. It is mani- 
fest that dearer rates for one class would allow of cheaper 
rates for the other; and that in this manner general travel- 
ing would be encouraged and increased. 

But I do not believe that the question of expenditure 
has had anything to do with it. I conceive it to be true that 
the railways are afraid to put themselves at variance with 
the general feeling of the people. If so, the railways may 
be right. But then, on the other hand, the general feeling 
of the people must in such case be wrong. Such a feeling 
argues a total mistake as to the nature of that liberty and 
equality for the security of which the people are so anxious, 
and that mistake the very one which has made shipwreck 
so many attempts at freedom in other countries. It argues 
that confusion between social and political equality which 
has led astray multitudes who have longed for liberty fer- 
vently, but who have not thought of it carefully. If a first- 
class railway carriage should Ibe held as offensive, so should 
a first-class-house, or a first-class horse, or a first-class 
dinner. But first-class houses, first-class horses, and first- 
class dinners are very rife in America. Of course it may 
be said that the expenditure shown in these last-named 
objects is private expenditure, and cannot be controlled; 
and that railway traveling is of a public nature, and can be 
made subject to public opinion. But the fault is in that 
public opinion which desires to control matters of this 
nature. Such an arrangement partakes of all the vice of a 
sumptuary law, and sumptuary laws are in their very es- 
sence mistakes. It is well that a man should always have 
all for which he is willing to pay. If he desires and obtains 
more than is good for him, the punishment, and thus also 
the preventive, will come from other sources. 

It will be said that the American cars are good enough 
for all purposes. The seats are not very hard, and the 
room for sitting is sufficient. Nevertheless I deny that they 
are good enough for all purposes. They are very long, 
and to enter them and find a place often requires a struggle 
and almost a fight. There is rarely any person to tell a 
stranger which car he should enter. One never meets an 
uncivil or unruly man, but the women of the lower ranks 
are not courteous. American ladies love to lie at ease in 
their carriages, as thoroughly as do our women in Hyde 




Park; and to those who are used to such luxury, traveling 
by railroad in their own country must be grievous. I would 
not wish to be thought a Sybarite myself, or to be held as 
complaining because I have been compelled to give up my 
seat to women with babies and bandboxes who have ac- 
cepted the courtesy with very scanty grace. I have borne 
worse things than these, and have roughed it much in my 
days, from want of means and other reasons. Nor am I 
yet so old but what I can rough it still. Nevertheless I 
like to see things as well done as is practicable, and rail- 
way traveling in the States is not well done. I feel bound 
to say as much as this, and now I have said it, once for 

Few cities, or localities for cities, have fairer natural 
advantages than Portland; and I am bound to say that the 
people of Portland have done much in turning them to 
account. This town is not the capital of the State in a 
political point of view. Augusta, which is farther to the 
north, on the Kennebec River, is the seat of the State gov- 
ernment for Maine. It is very generally the case that the 
States do not hold their legislatures and carry on their gov- 
ernment at their chief towns. Augusta and not Portland 
is the capital of Maine. Of the State of New York, Al- 
bany is the capital, and not the city which bears the State's 
name. And of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and not Phila- 
delphia is the capital. I think the idea has been that old- 
fashioned notions were bad in that they were old fash- 
ioned ; and that a new people, bound by no prejudices, might 
certainly make improvement by choosing for themselves 
new ways. If so, the American politicians have not been 
the first in the world who have thought that any change 
must be a change for the better. The assigned reason is 
the centrical position of the selected political capitals ; but 
I have generally found the real commercial capital to be 
easier of access than the smaller town in which the two 
legislative houses are obliged to collect themselves. 

What must be the natural excellence of the harbor of 
Portland, will be understood when it is borne in mind that 
the Great Eastern can enter it at all times, and that it cau 
lay along the wharves at any hour of the tide. The wharves 
which have been prepared for her — and of which I will say 
a word further by-and-by — are joined to, and in fact are a 
portion of, the station of the Grand Trunk Railway, which 



runs from Portland up to Canada. So that passengers 
landing at Portland out of a vessel so large even as the 
Great Eastern can walk at once on shore, and goods can 
be passed on to the railway without any of the cost of re- 
moval. I will not say that there is no other harbor in the 
world that would allow of this, but I do not know any other 
that would do so. 

From Portland a line of railway, called as a whole by 
the name of the Canada Grand Trunk Line, runs across the 
State of Maine, through the northern parts of New Hamp- 
shire and Yermont, to Montreal, a branch striking from 
Richmond, a little within the limits of Canada, to Quebec, 
and down the St. Lawrence to Riviere du Loup. The 
main line is continued from Montreal, through Upper Can- 
ada to Toronto, and from thence to Detroit in the State of 
Michigan. The total distance thus traversed is, in a direct 
line, about 900 miles. From Detroit there is railway com- 
munications through the immense Northwestern States of 
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, than which perhaps the 
surface of the globe alTords no finer districts for purposes 
of agriculture. The produce of the two Canadas must be 
poured forth to the Eastern world, and the men of the 
JEastern world must throng into these lands by means of 
this railroad, and, as at present arranged, through the har- 
bor of Portland. At present the line has been opened, and 
they who have opened are sorely suffering in pocket for 
what they have done. The question of the railway is rather 
one applying to Canada than to the State of Maine, and I 
will therefore leave it for the present. 

But the Great Eastern has never been to Portland, and 
as far as I know has no intention of going there. She was, 
I believe, built with that object. At any rate, it was pro- 
claimed during her building that such was her destiny, and 
the Portlanders believed it with a perfect faith. They went 
to work and built wharves expressly for her; two wharves 
prepared to fit her two gangways, or ways of exit and en- 
trance. They built a huge hotel to receive her passengers. 
They prepared for her advent with a full conviction that a 
millennium of trade was about to be wafted to their happy 
port. " Sir, the town has expended two hundred thousand 
dollars in expectation of that ship, and that ship has de- 
ceived us." So was the matter spoken of to me by an in- 
telligent Portlander. I explained to that intelligent gen- 



tleman that two hundred thousand dollars would go a very 
little way toward making up the loss which the ill-fortuned 
vessel had occasioned on the other side of the water. He 
did not in words express gratification at this information, 
but he looked it. The matter was as it were a partnership 
without deed of contract between the Portlanders and the 
shareholders of the vessel, and the Portlanders, though they 
also have suffered their losses, have not had the worst of it. 

But there are still good days in store for the town. 
Though the Great Eastern has not gone there, other ships 
from Europe, more profitable if less in size, must eventually 
find their way thither. At present the Canada line of 
packets runs to Portland only during those months in which 
it is shut out from the St. Lawrence and Quebec by ice. 
But the St. Lawrence and Quebec cannot offer the advant- 
ages which Portland enjoys, and that big hotel and those 
new wharves will not have been built in vain. 

I have said that a good time is coming, but I would by 
no means wish to signify that the present times in Portland 
are bad. So far from it that I doubt whether I ever saw a 
town with more evident signs of prosperity. It has about 
it every mark of ample means, and no mark of poverty. It 
contains about 21,000 people, and for that population covers 
a very large space of ground. The streets are broad and 
well built, the main streets not running in those absolutely 
straight parallels which are so common in American towns, 
and are so distressing to English eyes and English feelings. 
All these, except the streets devoted exclusively to business, 
are shaded on both sides by trees, generally, if I remember 
rightly, by the beautiful American elm, whose drooping 
boughs have all the grace of the willow without its fantas- 
tic melancholy. What the poorer streets of Portland may 
be like, I cannot say. I saw no poor street. But in no 
town of 30,000 inhabitants did I ever see so many houses 
which must require an expenditure of from six to eight hun^ 
dred a year to maintain them. 

The place, too, is beautifully situated. It is on a long 
promontory, which takes the shape of a peninsula, for the 
neck which joins it to the main-land is not above half a mile 
across. But though the town thus stands out into the sea, 
it is not exposed and bleak. The harbor, again, is sur- 
rounded by land, or so guarded and locked by islands as to 
form a series of salt-water lakes running round the town. 



Of those islands there are, of course, three hundred and 
sixty-five. Travelers who write their travels are constantly 
called upon to record that number, so that it may now be 
considered as a superlative in local phraseology, signifying 
a very great many indeed. The town stands between two 
hills, the suburbs or outskirts running up on to each of them. 
The one looking out toward the sea is called Mouutjoy, 
though the obstinate Americans will write it Munjoy on 
their maps. From thence the view out to the harbor and 
beyond the harbor to the islands is, I may not say une- 
qualed, or I shall be guilty of running into superlatives 
myself, but it is in its way equal to anything I have seen. 
Perhaps it is more like Cork harbor, as seen from certain 
heights over Passage, than anything else I can remember ; 
but Portland harbor, though equally landlocked, is larger ; 
and then from Portland harbor there is, as it were, a river 
outlet running through delicious islands, most unalluring to 
the navigator, but delicious to the eyes of an uncommercial 
traveler. There are in all four outlets to the sea, one of 
which appears to have been made expressly for the Great 
Eastern. Then there is the hill looking inward. If it has 
a name, I forget it. The view from this hill is also over 
the water on each side, and, though not so extensive, is 
perhaps as pleasing as the other. 

The ways of the people seemed to be quiet, smooth, or- 
derly, and republican. There is nothing to drink in Port- 
land, of course ; for, thanks to Mr. Neal Dow, the Father 
Matthew of the State of Maine, the Maine liquor law is 
still in force in that State. There is nothing to drink, I 
should say, in such orderly houses as that I selected. " Peo- 
ple do drink some in the town, they say," said my hostess 
to me, "and liquor is to be got. But I never venture to 
sell any. An ill-natured person might turn on nie ; and 
where should I be then ?" I did not press her, and she was 
good enough to put a bottle of porter at my right hand at 
dinner, for which I observed she made no charge. "But 
they advertise beer in the shop windows," I said to a man 
who was driving me — " Scotch ale and bitter beer. A man 
can get drunk on them." "Waal, yes. If he goes to work 
hard, and drinks a bucketful," said the driver, "perhaps he 
may." From which and other things I gathered that the 
men of Maine drank pottle deep before Mr. Neal Dow 
brought his exertions to a successful termination. 




The Maine liquor law still stands in Maine, and is the 
law of the land throughout New England ; but it is not 
actually put in force in the other States. By this law no 
man may retail wine, spirits, or, in truth, beer, except with 
a special license, which is given only to those who are pre- 
sumed to sell them as medicines. A man may have what 
he likes in his own cellar for his own use — such, at least, is 
the actual working of the law — but may not obtain it at 
hotels and public houses. This law, like all sumptuary 
laws, must fail. And it is fast failing even in Maine. But 
it did appear to me, from such information as I could col- 
lect, that the passing of it had done much to hinder and 
repress a habit of hard drinking which was becoming terri- 
bly common, not only in the towns of Maine, but among the 
farmers and hired laborers in the country. 

But, if the men and women of Portland may not drink, 
they may eat; and it is a place, I should say, in which good 
living on that side of the question is very rife. It has an 
air of supreme plenty, as though the agonies of an empty 
stomach were never known there. The faces of the people 
tell of three regular meals of meat a day, and of digestive 
powers in proportion. happy Portlanders, if they only 
knew their own good fortune ! They get up early, and go 
to bed early. The women are comely and sturdy, able to 
take care of themselves, without any fal-lal of chivalry, and 
the men are sedate, obliging, and industrious. I saw the 
young girls in the streets coming home from their tea par- 
ties at nine o'clock, many of them alone, and all with some 
basket in their hands, which betokened an evening not passed 
absolutely in idleness. No fear there of unruly questions 
on the way, or of insolence from the ill-conducted of the 
other sex. All was, or seemed to be, orderly, sleek, and 
unobtrusive. Probably, of all modes of life that are allotted 
to man by his Creator, life such as this is the most happy. 
One hint, however, for improvement, I must give even to 
Portland : It would be well if they could make their streets 
of some material harder than sand. 

I must not leave the town without desiring those who 
may visit it to mount the observatory. They will from 
thence get the best view of the harbor and of the surround- 
ing land ; and, if they chance to do so under the reign of 
the present keeper of the signals, they will find a man there 
able and willing to tell them everything needful about the 



State of Maine in general and the harbor in particular. He 
will come out in his shirt sleeves, and, like a true American, 
will not at first be very smooth in his courtesy ; but he will 
wax brighter in conversation, and, if not stroked the wrong 
way, will turn out to be an uncommonly pleasant fellow. 
Such I believe to be the case with most of them. 

From Portland we made our way up to the White Mount- 
ains, which lay on our route to Canada. Now, I would 
ask any of my readers who are candid enough to expose 
their own ignorance whether they ever heard, or at any rate 
whether they know anything, of the White Mountains ? As 
regards myself, I confess that the name had reached my 
ears ; that I had an indefinite idea that they formed an in- 
termediate stage between the Rocky Mountains and the 
Alleghanies ; and that they were inhabited either by Mor- 
mons, Indians, or simply by black bears. That there was 
a district in New England containing mountain scenery su- 
perior to much that is yearly crowded by tourists in Europe, 
that this is to be reached with ease by railways and stage- 
coaches, and that it is dotted with huge hotels almost as 
thickly as they lie in Switzerland, I had no idea. Much of 
this scenery, I say, is superior to the famed and classic lands 
of Europe. I know nothing, for instance, on the Rhine 
equal to the view from Mount Willard down the mountain 
pass called the Notch. 

Let the visitor of these regions be as late in the year as 
he can, taking care that he is not so late as to find the ho- 
tels closed. October, no doubt, is the most beautiful month 
among these mountains ; but, according to the present ar- 
rangement of matters here, the hotels are shut up by the 
end of September. With us, August, September, and Octo- 
ber are the holiday months ; whereas our rebel children 
across the Atlantic love to disport themselves in July and 
August. The great beauty of the autumn, or fall, is in the 
brilliant hues which are then taken by the foliage. The 
autumnal tints are fine with us. They are lovely and bright 
wherever foliage and vegetation form a part of the beauty 
of scenery. But in no other land do they approach the 
brilliancy of the fall in America. The bright rose color, 
the rich bronze which is almost purple in its richness, and 
the glorious golden yellows must be seen to be understood. 
By me, at any rate, they cannot be described. They begin 
to show themselves in September ; and perhaps I might 



name tlie latter lialf of tliat month as the best time for vis- 
iting the White Mountains. 

I am not going to write a guide book, feeling sure that 
Mr. Murray will do Nev/ England and Canada, including 
Niagara, and the Hudson River, with a peep into Boston 
and New York, before many more seasons have passed by. 
But I cannot forbear to tell my countrymen that any en- 
terprising individual, with a hundred pounds to spend on 
his holiday — a hundred and twenty would make him more 
comfortable in regard to wine, washing, and other luxuries 
— and an absence of two months from his labors, may see 
as much and do as much here for the money as he can see 
or do elsewhere. In some respects he may do more ; for 
he will learn more of American nature in such a journey 
than he can ever learn of the nature of Frenchmen or Amer- 
icans by such an excursion among them. Some three weeks 
of the time, or perhaps a day or two over, he must be at 
sea, and that portion of his trip will cost him fifty pounds, 
presuming that he chooses to go in the most comfortable 
and costly way ; but his time on board ship will not be lost. 
He will learn to know much of Americans there, and will 
perhaps form acquaintances of which he will not altogether 
lose sight for many a year. He will land at Boston, and, 
staying a day or two there, will visit Cambridge, Lowell, 
and Bunker Hill, and, if he be that way given, will remem- 
ber that here live, and occasionally are to be seen alive, men 
such as Longfellow, Emerson, Hawthorne, and a host of 
others, whose names and fames have made Boston the throne 
of Western literature. He will then, if he take my advice 
and follow my track, go by Portland up into the White 
Mountains. At Gorham, a station on the Grand Trunk 
Line, he will find a hotel as good as any of its kind, and from 
thence he will take a light wagon, so called in these coun- 
tries. And here let me presume that the traveler is not 
alone : he has his wife or friend, or perhaps a pair of sisters, 
and in his wagon he will go up through primeval forests 
to the Glen House. When there, he will ascend Mount 
Washington on a pony. Tliat is de rigueur, and I do not 
therefore dare to recommend him to omit the ascent. I did 
not gain much myself by my labor. He will not stay at the 
Glen House, but will go on to — Jackson's I think they call 
the next hotel, at which he will sleep. From thence he will 
take his wagon on through the Notch to the Crawford 



House, sleeping there again ; and when liere, let him, of all 
things, remember to go up Mount Willard. It is but a 
walk of two hours up and down, if so much. When reach- 
ing the top, he will be startled to find that he looks down 
into the ravine without an inch of foreground. He will 
come out suddenly on a ledge of rock, from whence, as it 
seems, he might leap down at once into the valley below. 
Then, going on from the Crawford House, he will be driven 
through the woods of Cherry Mount, passing, I fear without 
toll of custom, the house of my excellent friend Mr. Plais- 
tead, who keeps a hotel at Jefferson. " Sir," said Mr. 
Plaistead, I have everything here that a man ought to 
want : air, sir, that aint to be got better nowhere ; trout, 
chickens, beef, mutton, milk — and all for a dollar a day I 
A-top of that hill, sjr, there's a view that aint to be beaten 
this side of the Atlantic, or I believe the other. And an 
echo, sir ! — we've an echo that comes back to us six times, 
sir ; floating on the light wind, and wafted about from rock 
to rock, till you would think the angels were talking to you. 
If I could raise that echo, sir, every day at command, I'd 
give a thousand dollars for it. It would be worth all the 
money to a house like this." And he waved his hand about 
from hill to hill, pointing out in graceful curves the lines 
which the sounds would take. Had destiny not called on 
Mr. Plaistead to keep an American hotel, he might have 
been a poet. 

My traveler, however, unless time were plenty with him, 
would pass Mr. Plaistead, merely lighting a friendly cigar, 
or perhaps breaking the Maine liquor law if the weather 
be warm, and would return to Gorham on the railway. All 
this mountain district is in New Hampshire ; and, presum- 
ing him to be capable of going about the world with his 
mouth, ears, and eyes open, he would learn much of the 
way in which men are settling themselves in this still 
sparsely-populated country. Here young farmers go into 
the woods as they are doing far down West in the Territo- 
ries, and buying some hundred acres at perhaps six shillings 
an acre, fell and burn the trees, and build their huts, and 
take the first steps, as far as man's work is concerned, to- 
ward accomplishing the will of the Creator in those regions. 
For such pioneers of civilization there is still ample room 
even in the long-settled States of New Hampshire and 
Term out. 



But to return to my traveler, whom, having brought so 
far, I must send on. Let him go on from Gorham to Que- 
bec and the heights of Abraham, stopping at Sherbrooke 
that he might visit from thence the Lal\:e of Memplira Ma- 
gog. As to the manner of traveling over this ground I 
shall say a little in the next chapter, when I come to the 
progress of myself and my wife. From Quebec he will go 
up the St. Lawrence to Montreal. He will visit Ottawa, 
the new capital, and Toronto. He will cross the lake to 
Niagara, resting probably at the Clifton House on the Can- 
ada side. He will then pass on to Albany, taking the Tren- 
ton Falls on his way. From Albany he will go down the 
Hudson to West Point. He cannot stop at the Catskill 
Mountains, for the hotel will be closed. And then he will 
take the river boat, and in a few hours will find himself at 
New York. If he desires to go into American city society, 
he will find New York agreeable ; but in that case he must 
exceed his two months. If he do not so desire, a short so- 
journ at New York will show him all that there is to be 
seen and all that there is not to be seen in that great city. 
That the Cunard line of steamers will bring him safely back 
to Liverpool in about eleven days, I need not tell to any 
Englishman, or, as I believe, to any American. So much, 
in the spirit of a guide, I vouchsafe to all who are willing 
to take my counsel — thereby anticipating Murray, and 
leaving these few pages as a legacy to him or to his 

I cannot say that I like the hotels in those parts, or, in- 
deed, the mode of life at American hotels in general. In 
order that I may not unjustly defame them, I will commence 
these observations by declaring that they are cheap to those 
who choose to practice the economy which they encourage, 
that the viands are profuse in quantity and wholesome in 
quality, that the attendance is quick and unsparing, and that 
travelers are never annoyed by that grasping, greedy hun- 
ger and thirst after francs and shillings which disgrace, in 
Europe, many English and many continental inns. All this 
is, as must be admitted, great praise ; and yet I do not like 
the American hotels. 

One is in a free country, and has come from a country in 
which one has been brought up to hug one's chains — so at 
least the English traveler is constantly assured — and yet in 
an American inn one can never do as one likes. A terrific 



gong sounds early in the morning, breaking one's sweet 
slumbers ; and then a second gong, sounding some thirty- 
minutes later, makes you understand that you must proceed 
to breakfast whether you be dressed or no. You certainly 
can go on with your toilet, and obtain your meal after half 
an hour's delay. Nobody actually scolds you for so doing, 
but the breakfast is, as they say in this country, "through," 
You sit down alone, and the attendant stands immediately 
over you. Probably there are two so standing. They fill 
your cup the instant it is empty. They tender you fresh 
food before that which has disappeared from your plate has 
been swallowed. They begrudge you no amount that you 
can eat or drink ; but they begrudge you a single moment 
that you sit there neither eating nor drinking. This is your 
fate if you're too late ; and therefore, as a rule, you are not 
late. In that case, you form one of a long row of eaters 
v/ho proceed through their work with a solid energy that is 
past all praise. It is wrong to say that Americans will not 
talk at their meals. I never met but few who would not 
talk to me, at any rate till I got to the far West ; but I 
have rarely found that they would address me first. Then 
the dinner comes early — at least it always does so in New 
England — and the ceremony is much of the same kind. You 
came there to eat, and the food is pressed upon you ad 
nauseam. But, as far as one can see, there is no drinking. 
In these days, I am quite aware that drinking has become 

of wine as a thing tabooed, wondering how our fathers lived 
and swilled. I believe that, as a fact, we drink as much as 
they did ; but, nevertheless, that is our theory. I confess, 
however, that I like wine. It is very wicked, but it seems 
to me that my dinner goes down better with a glass of 
sherry than without it. As a rule, I always did get it at 
hotels in America. But I had no comfort with it. Sherry 
they do not understand at all. Of course I am only speak- 
ing of hotels. Their claret they get exclusively from Mr. 
Gladstone, and, looking at the quality, have a right to 
quarrel even with Mr. Gladstone's price. But it is not the 
quality of the wine that I hereby intend to subject to igno- 
miny so much as the want of any opportunity for drinking 
it. After dinner, if all that I hear be true, the gentlemen 
occasionally drop into the hotel bar and "liquor up." Or 
rather this is not done specially after dinner, but, without 

We are apt, at home, to speak 


prejudice to tlie hour, at any time that may be found desira- 
ble. I also have "liquored up," but I cannot eay that 1 enjoy 
the process. I do not intend hereby to accuse Americans of 
drinking much ; but I maintain that what they do drink, 
they drink in the most uncomfortable manner that the 
imagination can devise. 

The greatest luxury at an English inn is one's tea, one's 
fire, and one's book. Such an arrangement is not practica- 
ble at an American hotel. Tea, like breakfast, is a great 
meal, at which meat should be eaten, generally with the ad- 
dition of much jelly, jam, and sweet preserve ; but no person 
delays over his teacup. I love to have my teacup emptied 
and filled with gradual pauses, so that time for oblivion 
may accrue, and no exact record be taken. No such meal 
is known at American hotels. It is possible to hire a sep- 
arate room, and have one's meals served in it ; but in doing 
so a man runs counter to all the institutions of the country, 
and a woman does so equally. A stranger does not wish to 
be viewed askance by all around him ; and the rule which 
holds that men at Rome should do as Komans do, if true 
anywhere, is true in America. Therefore I say that in an 
American inn one can never do as one pleases. 

In what I have here said I do not intend to speak of hotels 
in the largest cities, such as Boston or New York. At them 
meals are served in the public room separately, and pretty 
nearly at any or at all hours of the day ; but at them also 
the attendant stands over the unfortunate eater and drives 
him. The guest feels that he is controlled by laws adapted 
to the usages of the Medes and Persians. He is not the 
master on the occasion, but the slave — a slave well treated, 
and fattened up to the full endurance of humanity, but yet 
a slave. 

From Gorham we went on to Island Pond, a station on 
the same Canada Trunk Railway, on a Saturday evening, 
and were forced by the circumstances of the line to pass a 
melancholy Sunday at the place. The cars do not run on 
Sundays, and run but once a day on other days over the 
whole line, so that, in fact, the impediment to traveling 
spreads over two days. Island Pond is a lake with an island 
in it ; and the place which has taken the name is a small 
village, about ten years old, standing in the midst of uncut 
forests, and has been created by the railway. In ten years 
« more there will no doubt be a spreading town at Island 



Pond ; the forests will recede ; and men, rushing out from 
the crowded cities, will find here food, and space, and wealth. 
For myself, I never remain long in such a spot without feel- 
ing thankful that it has not been my mission to be a pioneer 
of civilization. 

The farther that I got away from Boston the less strong 
did I find the feeling of anger against England. There, as 
I have said before, there was a bitter animosity against the 
mother country in that she had shown no open sympathy 
with the North. In Maine and New Hampshire I did not 
find this to be the case to any violent degree. Men spoke 
of the war as openly as they did at Boston, and, in speak- 
ing to me, generally connected England with the subject. 
But they did so simply to ask questions as to England's 
policy. What will she do for cotton when her operatives 
are really pressed ? Will she break the blockade ? Will 
she insist on li right to trade with Charleston and New Or- 
leans ? I always answered that she would insist on no such 
right, if that right were denied to others and the denial 
enforced, England, I took upon myself to say, w^ould not 
break a veritable blockade, let her be driven to what shifts 
she might in providing for her operatives. " Ah ! that's 
what w^e fear," a very stanch patriot said to me, if words 
may be taken as a proof of stanchness. " If England allies 
herself with the Southerners, all our trouble is for nothing." 
It was impossible not to feel that all that was said was com- 
plimentary to England. It is her sympathy that the North- 
ern men desire, to her co-operation that they would will- 
ingly trust, on her honesty that they would choose to depend. 
It is the same feeling whether it shows itself in anger or iii 
curiosity. An American, whether he be embarked in poli- 
tics, in literature, or in commerce, desires English admira- 
tion, English appreciation of his energy, and English en- 
couragement. The anger of Boston is but a sign of its 
affectionate friendliness. What feeling is so hot as that of 
a friend when his dearest friend refuses to share his quarrel 
or to sympathize in his wrongs ! To my thinking, the men 
of Boston are wrong and unreasonable in their anger ; but 
were I a man of Boston, I should be as wrong and as un- 
reasonable as any of them. All that, however, will come 
right. I will not believe it possible that there should in 
very truth be a quarrel between England and the Northern 




In the guidance of those who are not quite au fait at 
the details of American government, I will here in a few 
words describe the outlines of State government as it is 
arranged in New Hampshire. The States, in this respect, 
are not all alike, the modes of election of their officers, and 
periods of service, being different. Even the franchise is 
different in different States. Universal suffrage is not the 
rule throughout the United States, though it is, I believe, 
very generally thought in England that such is the fact. I 
need hardly say that the laws in the different States may be 
as various as the different legislatures may choose to make 

In New Hampshire universal suffrage does prevail, which 
means that any man may vote who lives in the State, sup- 
ports himself, and assists to support the poor by means of 
poor rates. A governor of the State is elected for one year 
only ; but it is customary, or at any rate not -uncustomary, 
to re-elect him for a second year. His salary is a thousand 
dollars a year, or two hundred pounds. It must be pre- 
sumed, therefore, that glory, and not money, is his object. 
To him is appended a Council, by whose opinions he must 
in a great degree be guided. His functions are to the State 
what those of the President are to the country ; and, for 
the short period of his reign, he is as it were a Prime Min- 
ister of the State, with certain very limited regal attributes. 
He, however, by no means enjoys the regal attribute of doing 
no wrong. In every State there is an Assembly, consisting 
of two houses of elected representatives — the Senate, or 
upper house, and the House of Representatives so called. 
In New Hampshire, this Assembly or Parliament is styled 
The General Court of New Hampshire. It sits annually, 
whereas the legislature in many States sits only every other 
year. Both houses are re-elected every year. This As- 
sembly passes laws with all the power vested in our Parlia- 
ment, but such laws apply of course only to the State in 
question. The Governor of the State has a veto on all 
bills passed by the two houses. But, after receipt of his 
veto, any bill so stopped by the Governor can be passed by 
a majority of two-thirds in each house. The General Court 
usually sits for about ten weeks. There are in the State 
eight judges — three supreme, who sit at Concord, the capi- 
tal, as a court of appeal both in civil and criminal matters, 
and then five lesser judges, who go circuit through the 



State. The salaries of these lesser judges do not exceed 
from £250 to £300 a year; but they are, I believe, allowed 
to practice as lawyers in any counties except those in which 
they sit as judges — being guided, in this respect, by the 
same law as that which regulates the work of assistant bar- 
risters in Ireland. The assistant barristers in Ireland are 
attached to the counties as judges at Quarter Sessions, but 
they practice, or may practice, as advocates in all counties 
except that to which they are so attached. The judges in 
New Hampshire are appointed by the Governor, with the 
assistance of his Council. No judge in New Hampshire 
can hold his seat after he has reached seventy years of age. 

So much at the present moment with reference to the 
government of New Hampshire. 



The Grand Trunk Railway runs directly from Portland 
to Montreal, which latter town is, in fact, the capital of 
Canada, though it never has been so exclusively, and, as it 
seems, never is to be so as regards authority, government, 
and official name. In such matters, authority and govern- 
ment often say one thing while commerce says another; but 
commerce always has the best of it and wins the game, 
whatever government may decree. Albany, in this way, is 
the capital of the State of New York, as authorized by the 
State government ; but New York has made herself the 
capital of America, and will remain so. So also Montreal 
has made herself the capital of Canada. The Grand Trunk 
Railway runs from Portland to Montreal ; but there is a 
branch from Richmond, a township within the limits of 
Canada, to Quebec ; so that travelers to Quebec, as we 
were, are not obliged to reach that place via Montreal. 

Quebec is the present seat of Canadian government, its 
turn for that honor having come round some two years ago; 
but it is about to be deserted in favor of Ottawa, a town 
which is, in fact, still to be built on the river of that name. 
The public edifices are, however, in a state of forwardness; 



and if all goes well, the Governor, the two Councils, and the 
House of lleprcsentatives will be there before two years 
are over, whether there be any town to receive them or no. 
Who can think of Ottawa without bidding his brothers to 
row, and reminding them that the stream runs fast, that the 
rapids are near and the daylight past ? I aslvcd, as a mat- 
ter of course, whether Quebec was much disgusted at the 
proposed change, and I was told that the feeling was not 
now very strong. Had it been determined to make Mon- 
treal the permanent seat of government, Quebec and Toronto 
would both have been up in arms. 

I must confess that, in going from the States into Can- 
ada, an Englishman is struck by the feeling that he is going 
from a richer country into one that is poorer, and from a 
greater country into one that is less. An Englishman going 
from a foreign land into a land which is in one sense his 
own, of course finds much in the change to gratify him. 
He is able to speak as the master, instead of speaking as 
the visitor. His tongue becomes more free, and he is able 
to fall back to his national habits and national expressions. 
He no longer feels that he is admitted on sufferance, or that 
he must be careful to respect laws which he does not quite 
understand. This feeling was naturally strong in an Eng- 
lishman in passing from the States into Canada at the time 
of my visit. English policy, at that moment, was violently 
abused by Americans, and was upheld as violently in Can- 
ada. But nevertheless, with all this, I could not enter Can- 
ada without seeing, and hearing, and feeling that there was 
less of enterprise around me there than in the States, less of 
general movement, and less of commercial success. To say 
why this is so would require a long and very difficult dis- 
cussion, and one which I am not prepared to hold. It may 
be that a dependent country, let the feeling of dependence 
be ever so much modified by powers of self-governance, 
cannot hold its own against countries which are in all re- 
spects their own masters. Few, I believe, would now main- 
tain that the Northern States of America would have risen 
in commerce as they have risen, had they still remained at- 
tached to England as colonies. If this be so, that privilege 
of self-rule which they have acquired has been the cause of 
their success. It does not follow as a consequence that the 
Canadas, fighting their battle alone in the world, could do 
as the States have done. Climate, or size, or geographical 



position might stand in their way. But I fear that it does 
follow, if not as a logical conclusion, at least as a natural 
result, that they never will do so well unless some day they 
shall so fight their battle. It may be argued that Canada 
has in fact the power of self-governance ; that she rules 
herself and makes her own laws as England does ; that the 
Sovereign of England has but a veto on those laws, and 
stands in regard to Canada exactly as she does in regard to 
England. This is so, I believe, by the letter of the Consti- 
tution, but is not so in reality, and cannot in truth be so in 
any colony even of Great Britain. In England the political 
power of the Crown is nothing. The Crown has no such 
power, and now-a-days makes no attempt at having any. 
But the political power of the Crown as it is felt in Canada 
is everything. The Crown has no such power in England, 
because it must change its ministers whenever called upon 
to do so by the House of Commons. But the Colonial 
Minister in Downing Street is the Crown's Prime Minister 
as regards the colonies, and he is changed not as any colo- 
nial House of Assembly may wish, but in accordance with 
the will of the British Commons. Both the houses in Can- 
ada — that, namely, of the Representatives, or Lower House, 
and of the Legislative Council, or Upper House — are now 
elective, and are filled without direct influence from the 
Crown. The power of self-government is as thoroughly 
developed as perhaps may be possible in a colony. But, 
after all, it is a dependent form of government, and as such 
may perhaps not conduce to so thorough a development of 
the resources of the country as might be achieved under a 
ruling power of its own, to which the welfare of Canada 
itself would be the chiet if not the only object. 

I beg that it may not be considered from this that I 
would propose to Canada to set up for itself at once and 
declare itself independent. In the first place I do not wish 
to throw over Canada; and in the next place I do not wish 
to throw over England. If such a separation shall ever 
take place, I trust that it may be caused, not by Canadian 
violence, but by British generosity. Such a separation, 
however, never can be good till Canada herself shall wish 
it. That she does not wish it yet, is certain. If Canada 
ever should wish it, and should ever press for the accom- 
plishment of such a wish, she must do so in connection 
with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. If at any future 




time there be formed such a separate political power, it 
must include the whole of British North America. 

In the mean time, I return to my assertion, that in enter- 
ing Canada from the States one clearly comes from a richer 
to a poorer country. When I have said so, I have heard 
no Canadian absolutely deny it; though in refraining from 
denying it, they have usually expressed a general convic- 
tion, that in settling himself for life it is better for a man 
to set up his staff" in Canada than in the States. "I do 
not know that we are richer," a Canadian says, "but on 
the whole we are doing better and are happier." Now, I 
regard the golden rules against the love of gold, the ''aurum 
irrepertum et sic melius situm,^^ and the rest of it, as very 
excellent when applied to individuals. Such teaching has 
not much eff'ect, perhaps, in inducing men to abstain from 
wealth ; but such effect as it may have will be good. Men 
and women do, I suppose, learn to be happier when they 
learn to disregard riches. But such a doctrine is absolutely 
false as regards a nation. National wealth produces edu- 
cation and progress, and through them produces plenty of 
food, good morals, and all else that is good. It produces 
luxury also, and certain evils attendant on luxury. But I 
think it may be clearly shown, and that it is universally 
acknowledged, that national wealth produces individual 
well-being. If this be so, the argument of my friend the 
Canadian is naught. 

To the feeling of a refined gentleman, or of a lady whose 
eye loves to rest always on the beautiful, an agricultural 
population that touches its hat, eats plain victuals, and 
goes to church, is more picturesque and delightful than the 
thronged crowd of a great city, by which a lady and gen- 
tleman is hustled without remorse, which never touches its 
hat, and perhaps also never goes to church. And as we 
are always tempted to approve of that which we like, and 
to think that that which is good to us is good altogether, 
we — the refined gentlemen and ladies of England I mean — 
are very apt to prefer the hat touchers to those who are 
not hat touchers. In doing so we intend, and wish, and 
strive to be philanthropical. We argue to ourselves that 
the dear, excellent lower classes receive an immense amount 
of consoling happiness from that ceremony of hat touching, 
and quite pity those who, unfortunately for themselves, know 
nothing about it. I would ask any such lady ov gentle- 



man whether he or she does not feel a certain amount of 
commiseration for the rudeness of the town-bred artisan 
who walks about with his hands in his pockets as though he 
recognized a superior in no one ? 

But that which is good and pleasant to us is often not 
good and pleasant altogether. Every man's chief object is 
himself; and the philanthropist should endeavor to regard 
this question, not from his own point of view, but from 
that which would be taken by the individuals for whose 
happiness he is anxious. The honest, happy rustic makes 
a very pretty picture ; and I hope that honest rustics are 
happy. But the man who earns two shillings a day in the 
country would always prefer to earn five in the town. The 
man who finds himself bound to touch his hat to the squire 
would be glad to dispense with that ceremony, if circum- 
stances would permit. A crowd of greasy-coated town 
artisans, with grimy hands and pale faces, is not in itself 
delectable ; but each of that crowd has probably more of 
the goods of life than any rural laborer. He thinks more, 
reads more, feels more, sees more, hears more, learns more, 
and lives more. It is through great cities that the civiliza- 
tion of the world has progressed, and the charms of life 
been advanced. Man in his rudest state begins in the 
country, and in his most finished state may retire there. 
But the battle of the world has to be fought in the cities ; 
and the country that shows the greatest city population is 
ever the one that is going most ahead in the world's his- 

If this be so, I say that the argument of my Canadian 
friend was naught. It may be that he does not desire 
crowded cities, with dirty, independent artisans; that to 
view small farmers, living sparingly, but with content, on 
the sweat of their brows, are surer signs of a country's 
prosperity than hives of men and smoking chimneys. He 
has probably all the upper classes of England with him in 
so thinking, and as far as I know the upper classes of all 
Europe. But the crowds themselves, the thick masses of 
which are composed those populations which we count by 
millions, are against him. Up in those regions which are 
watered by the great lakes — Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, 
Lake Erie, Lake Ontario — and by the St. Lawrence, the 
country is divided between Canada and the States. The 
cities in Canada were settled long before those in the 



States. Quebec and Montreal were important cities before 
any of the towns belonging to the States had been founded. 
But taking the population of three of each, including the 
three largest Canadian towns, we find they are as follows: 
In Canada, Quebec has 60,000; Montreal, 85,000; Toron- 
to, 55,000. In the States, Chicago has 120,000; Detroit, 
•70,000; and Buffalo, 80,000. If the population had been 
equal, it would have shown a great superiority in the prog- 
ress of those belonging to the States, because the towns of 
Canada had so great a start. But the numbers are by no 
means equal, showing instead avast preponderance in favor 
of the States. There can be no stronger proof that the 
States are advancing faster than Canada, and in fact doing, 
better than Canada. 

Quebec is a very picturesque town ; from its natural ad- 
vantages almost as much so as any town I know. Edin- 
burgh, perhaps, and Innspruck may beat it. But Quebec 
has very little to recommend it beyond the beauty of its 
situation. Its public buildings and works of art do not 
deserve a long narrative. It stands at tne confluence of 
the St. Lawrence and St. Charles Rivers; the best part of 
the town is built high upon the rock — the rock which forms 
the celebrated plains of Abram ; and the view from thence 
down to the mountains which shut in the St. Lawrence is 
magnificent. The best point of view is, I think, from the 
esplanade, which is distant some five minutes' walk from 
the hotels. When that has been seen by the light of the 
setting sun, and seen again, if possible, by moonlight, the 
most considerable lion of Quebec may be regarded as 
''done," and may be ticked off from the list. 

The most considerable lion, according to my taste. Lions 
which roar merely by the force of association of ideas are 
not to me very valuable beasts. To many the rock over 
which Wolfe climbed to the plains of Abram, and on the 
summit of which he fell in the hour of victory, gives to 
Quebec its chiefest charm. But I confess to being some- 
what dull in such matters. I can count up Wolfe, and 
realize his glory, and put my hand as it were upon his mon- 
ument, in my own room at home as well as I can at Quebec. 
I do not say this boastingly or with pride, but truly ac- 
knowledging a deficiency. I have never cared to sit in 
chairs in which old kings have sat, or to have their crowns 
upon my head. 



^^'evertheless, and as a matter of course, I went to see 
tlie rock, and can only say, as so many have said before me, 
that it is very steep. It is not a rock which I think it 
would be difficult for any ordinarily active man to climb, 
providing, of course, that he was used to such work. But 
Wolfe took regiments of men up there at night, and that in 
face of enemies who held the summits. One grieves that 
he should have fallen there and have never tasted the sweet 
cup of his own fame. For fame is sweet, and the praise of 
oncs's brother men the sweetest draught which a man can 
drain. But now, and for coming ages, Wolfe's name stands 
higher than it probably would have done had he lived to 
enjoy his reward. 

But there is another very worthy lion near Quebec — the 
Falls, namely, of Montmorency. They are eight miles from 
the town, and the road lies through the suburb of St. 
Roch, and the long, straggling French village of Beauport. 
These are in themselves very interesting, as showing the 
quiet, orderly, unimpulsive manner in which the French 
Canadians live. Such is their character, although there 
have been such men as Papineau, and although there have 
been times in which English rule has been unpopular with 
the French settlers. As far as I could learn there is no 
such feeling now. These people are quiet, contented; and, 
as regards a sufficiency of the simple staples of living, suf- 
ficiently well to do. They are thrifty, but they do not 
thrive. They do not advance, and push ahead, and become 
a bigger people from year to year, as settlers in a new 
country should do. They do not even hold their own in 
comparison Avith those around them. But has not this 
always been the case with colonists out of France ; and has 
it not always been the case with Roman Catholics when 
they have been forced to measure themselves against Prot- 
estants? As to the ultimate fate in the world of this 
people, one can hardly form a speculation. There are, as 
nearly as I could learn, about 800,000 of them in Lower 
Canada; but it seems that the wealth and commercial en- 
terprise of the country is passing out of their hands. Mon- 
treal, and even Quebec, are, I think, becoming less and less 
French every day; but in the villages and on the small 
farms the French still remain, keeping up their language, 
their habits, and their religion. In the cities they are be- 
coming hewers of wood and drawers of water. I am 



inclined to think tliat tlie same will ultimately be their fate 
in the country. Surely one may declare as a fact that a 
Roman Catholic population can never hold its ground 
against one that is Protestant. I do not speak of numbers ; 
for the Roman Catholics will increase and multiply, and 
stick by their religion, although their religion entails pov- 
erty and dependence, as they have done and still do in Ire- 
land. But in progress and wealth the Romanists have 
always gone to the wall when the two have been made to 
compete together. And yet I love their religion. There 
is something beautiful, and almost divine, in the faith and 
obedience of a true son of the Holy Mother. I sometimes 
fancy that I v/ould fain be a Roman Catholic — if I could ; 
as also I would often wish to be still a child — if that were 

All this is on the way to the Falls of Montmorency. 
These falls are placed exactly at the mouth of the little 
river of the same name, so that it may be said absolutely 
to fall into the St. Lawrence. The people of the country, 
however, declare that the river into which the waters of the 
Montmorency fall is not the St. Lawrence, but the Charles. 
Without a map I do not know that I can explain this. 
The River Cliarles appears to, and in fact does, run into 
the St. Lawrence just below Quebec. But the waters do 
not mix. The thicker, browner stream of the lesser river 
still keeps the northeastern bank till it comes to the Island 
of Orleans, which lies in the river five or six miles below 
Quebec. Here or hereabouts are the Falls of the Mont- 
morency, and then the great river is divided for twenty-five 
miles by the Isle of Orleans. It is said that the waters of 
the Charles and the St. Lawrence do not mix till they meet 
each other at the foot of this island. 

I do not know that I am particularly happy at describing 
a waterfall, and what little capacity I may have in this way 
I would wish to keep for Kiagara. One thing I can say 
very positively about Montmorency, and one piece of advice 
I can give to those who visit the falls. The place from 
which to see them is not the horrible little wooden temple 
which has been built immediately over them on that side 
which lies nearest to Quebec. The stranger is put down at 
a gate through which a path leads to this temple, and at 
which a woman demands from him twenty-five cents for the 
privilege of entrance. Let him by all means pay the twenty- 



five cents. Why should he attempt to see the falls for no- 
thing, seeing that this woman has a vested interest in the 
showing of them ? I declare that if I thought that I should 
hinder this woman from her perquisites by what I write, I 
would leave it unwritten, and let my readers pursue their 
course to the temple — to their manifest injury. But they 
will pay the twenty-five cents. Then let them cross over 
the bridge, eschewing the temple, and wander round on the 
open field till they get the view of the falls, and the view 
of Quebec also, from the other side. It is worth the twenty- 
five cents and the hire of the carriage also. Immediately 
over the falls there was a suspension bridge, of which the 
supporting, or rather non-supporting, pillars are still to be 
seen. But the bridge fell down, one day, into the river; 
and — alas ! alas ! — with the bridge fell down an old woman, 
and a boy, and a cart — a cart and horse — and all found a 
watery grave together in the spray. 'No attempt has been 
made since that to renew the suspension bridge ; but the 
present wooden bridge has been built higher up in lieu 
of it. 

Strangers naturally visit Quebec in summer or autumn, 
seeing that a Canada winter is a season with which a man 
cannot trifle ; but I imagine that the mid-winter is the best 
time for seeing the Falls of Montmorency. The water in 
its fall is dashed into spray, and that spray becomes frozen, 
till a cone of ice is formed immediately under the cataract, 
which gradually rises till the temporary glacier reaches 
nearly half way to the level of the higher river. Up this 
men climb — and ladies also, I am told — and then descend, 
with pleasant rapidity, on sledges of wood, sometimes not 
without an innocent tumble in the descent. As we were at 
Quebec in September, we did not experience the delights 
of this pastime. 

As I was too early for the ice cone under the Montmo- 
rency Falls, so also was I too late to visit the Saguenay 
River, which runs into the St. Lawrence some hundred miles 
below Quebec. I presume that the scenery of the Saguenay 
is the finest in Canada. During the summer steamers run 
down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay, but I was too 
late for them. An offer was made to us through the kind- 
ness of Sir Edmund Head, who was then the Governor- 
General, of the use of a steam-tug belonging to a gentleman 
who carries on a large commercial enterprise at Chicoutimi, 



far up tlie Saguenay ; but an acceptance of this offer would 
Lave entailed some delay at Quebec, and, as we were anx- 
ious to get into the Northwestern States before the winter 
commenced, we were obliged with great regret to decline 
the journey. 

I feel bound to say that a stranger, regarding Quebec 
merely as a town, finds very much of which he cannot but 
complain. The footpaths through the streets are almost 
entirely of wood, as indeed seems to be general throughout 
Cahada. Wood is, of course, the cheapest material ; and, 
though it may not be altogether good for such a purpose, 
it would not create animadversion if it were kept in tolera- 
ble order. But in Quebec the paths are intolerably bad. 
They are full of holes. The boards are rotten, and worn in 
some places to dirt. The nails have gone, and the broken 
planks go up and down under the feet, and in the dark they 
are absolutely dangerous. But if the paths are bad, the 
road-ways are worse. The street through the lower town 
along the quays is, I think, the most disgraceful thorough- 
fare I ever saw in any town. I believe the whole of it, or 
at any rate a great portion, has been paved with wood ; but 
the boards have been worked into mud, and the ground 
under the boards has been worked into holes, till the street 
is more like the bottom of a filthy ditch than a road-way 
through one of the most thickly populated parts of a city. 
Had Quebec in Wolfe's time been as it is now, Wolfe would 
have stuck in the mud between the river and the rock before 
he reached the point which he desired to climb. In the 
upper town the roads are not as bad as they are below, but 
still they are very bad. I was told that this arose from dis- 
putes among the municipal corporations. Everything in 
Canada relating to roads, and a very great deal affecting 
the internal government of the people, is done by these 
municipalities. It is made a subject of great boast in Can- 
ada that the communal authorities do carry on so large a 
part of the public business, and that they do it generally so 
well and at so cheap a rate. I have nothing to say against 
this, and, as a whole, believe that the boast is true. I must 
protest, however, that the streets of the greater cities — for 
Montreal is nearly as bad as Quebec — prove the rule by a 
very sad exception. The municipalities of which I speak 
extend, I believe, to all Canada — the two provinces being 
divided into counties, and the counties subdivided into 



townships, to which, as a matter of course, the municipali- 
ties are attaclied. 

From Quebec to Montreal there are two modes of travel. 
There are the steamers up the St. Lawrence, which, as all 
the world know, is, or at any rate hitherto has been, the 
high-road of the Canadas ; and there is the Grand Trunk 
Kailway. Passengers choosing the latter go toward Port- 
land as far as Richmond, and there join the main line of the 
road, passing from Richmond on to Montreal. We learned 
while at Quebec that it behooved us not to leave the colony 
till we had seen the lake and mountains of Memphrema- 
gog ; and, as we were clearly neglecting our duty with re- 
gard to the Saguenay, we felt bound to make such amends 
as lay in our power by deviating from our way to the lake 
above named. In order to do this we were obliged to choose 
the railway, and to go back beyond Richmond to the sta- - 
tion at Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke is a large village on the 
confines of Canada, and, as it is on the railway, will no 
doubt become a large town. It is very prettily situated on 
the meeting of two rivers ; it has three or four churches, 
and intends to thrive. It possesses two newspapers, of the 
prosperity of which I should be inclined to feel less assured. 
The annual subscription to such a newspaper, published 
twice a week, is ten shillings. A sale of a thousand copies 
is not considered bad. Such a sale would produce £500 a 
year ; and this would, if entirely devoted to that purpose, 
give a moderate income to a gentleman qualified to conduct 
a newspaper. But the paper and printing must cost some- 
thing, and the capital invested should receive its proper re- 
muneration. And then — such at least is the general idea — 
the getting together of nevrs and the framing of intelligence 
is a costly operation. I can only hope that all this is paid 
for by the advertisements, for I must trust that the editors 
do not receive less than the moderate sum above named. 
At Sherbrooke we are still in Lower Canada. Indeed, as 
regards distance, we are when there nearly as far removed 
from Upper Canada as at Quebec. But the race of people 
here is very different. The French population had made 
their way down into these townships before the English and 
American war broke out, but had not done so in great 
numbers. The country was then very unapproachable, being 
far to the south of the St. Lawrence, and far also from any 
great line of internal communication toward the Atlantic. 




But, nevertheless, many settlers made their way in here 
from the States — men who preferred to live under British 
rule, and perhaps doubted the stability of the new order of 
things. They or their children have remained here since ; 
and, as the whole country has been opened up by the rail- 
way, many others have flocked in. Thus a better class of 
people than the French hold possession of the larger farms, 
and are on the whole doing well. I am told that many 
Americans are now coming here, driven over the borders 
from Maine, New Hampshire, and Yermont by fears of the 
war and the weight of taxation. I do not think that fears 
of war or the paying of taxes drive many individuals away 
from home. Men who would be so influenced have not the 
amount of foresight which would induce them to avoid such 
evils ; or, at any rate, such fears would act slowly. La- 
borers, however, will go where work is certain, where work 
is well paid, and where the wages to be earned will give 
plenty in return. It may be that work will become scarce 
in the States, as it has done with those poor jewelers at 
Attleborough of whom we spoke, and that food will become 
dear. If this be so, laborers from the States will no doubt 
find their way into Canada. 

From Sherbrooke we went with the mails on a pair- 
horse wagon to Magog. Cross-country mails are not inter- 
esting to the generality of readers, but I have a professional 
liking for them myself. I have spent the best part of my 
life in looking after, and I hope in improving, such mails; 
and I always endeavor to do a stroke of work when I come 
across them. I learned on this occasion that the convey- 
ance of mails with a pair of horses, in Canada, costs little 
more than half what is paid for the same work in England 
with one horse, and something less than what is paid in 
Ireland, also for one horse. But in Canada the average 
pace is only five miles an hour. In Ireland it is seven, and 
the time is accurately kept, which does not seem to be the 
case in Canada. In England the pace is eight miles an 
hour. In Canada and in Ireland these conveyances carry 
passengers; but in England they are prohibited from doing * 
so. In Canada the vehicles are much better got up than 
they are in England, and the horses too look better. Taking 
Ireland as a whole, they are more respectable in appear- 
ance there than in England. From all which it appears 
that pace is the article that costs the highest price, and 

THE owl's head. 


that appearance docs not go for much in the bill. In Can- 
ada the roads arc very bad in comparison with the English 
or Irish roads; but, to make up for this, the price of forage 
is very low. 

I have said that the cross-mail conveyances in Canada 
did not seem to be very closely bound as to time ; but they 
are regulated by clock-work in comparison with some of 
them in the United States. "Are you going this morn- 
ing?" I said to a mail-driver in Vermont. "I thought you 
always started in the evening." *'Wa'll, I guess I do; but 
it rained some last night, so I jist stayed at home." I do 
not know that I ever felt more shocked in my life, and I 
could hardly keep my tongue off the man. The mails, how- 
ever, would have paid no respect to me in Vermont, and I 
was obliged to v/alk away crest-fallen. 

We went with the mails from Sherbrooke to a village 
called Magog, at the outlet of the lake, and from thence 
by a steamer up the lake, to a solitary hotel called the 
Mountain House, which is built at the foot of the mount- 
ain, on the shore, and which is surrounded on every side by 
thick forest. There is no road within two miles of the 
house. The lake therefore is the only highway, and that is 
frozen up for four months in the year. When frozen, how- 
ever, it is still a road, for it is passable for sledges. I have 
seldom been in a house that seemed so remote from the 
world, and so little -within reach of doctors, parsons, or 
butchers. Bakers in this country are not required, as all 
persons make their own bread. But in spite of its position 
the hotel is well kept, and on the whole we were more com- 
fortable there than at any other inn in Lower Canada. The 
Mountain House is but five miles from the borders of Ver- 
mont, in which State the head of the lake lies. The steamer 
which brought us runs on to ^^ewport, or rather from jS"ew- 
port to Magog and back again. And Newport is in Ver- 

The one* thing to be done at the Mountain House is the 
ascent of the mountain called the Owl's Head. The world 
there offers nothing else of active enterprise to the traveler, 
unless fishing be considered an active enterprise. I am not 
capable of fishing, therefore we resolved on going up the 
Owl's Head. To dine in the middle of the day is abso- 
lutely imperative at these hotels, and thus we were driven 
to select either the morning or the afternoon. Evening 



lights WG declared were the best for all views, and therefore 
we decided on the afternoon. It is but two miles; but 
then, as we were told more than once bj those who had 
spoken to us on the subject, those two miles are not like 
other miles. " I doubt if the lady can do it," one man said 
to me. I asked if ladies did not sometimes go up. ''Yes; 
young women do, at times," he said. After that my wife 
resolved that she would see the top of the Owl's Head, or 
die in the attempt, and so we started. They never think 
of sending a guide with one in these places, whereas in 
Europe a traveler is not allowed to go a step without one. 
When I asked for one to show us the way up Mount Wash- 
ington, I was told that there were no idle boys about that 
place. The path was indicated to us, and off we started 
with high hopes. 

I have been up many mountains, and have climbed some 
that were perhaps somewhat dangerous in their ascent. 
In climbing the Owl's Head there is no danger. One is 
closed in by thick trees the whole way. But I doubt if 
I ever went up a steeper ascent. It was very hard work, 
but we were not beaten. We reached the top, and there 
sitting down, thoroughly enjoyed our victory. It was then 
half-past five o'clock, and the sun was not yet absolutely 
sinking. It did not seem to give us any warning that we 
should especially require its aid, and, as the prospect below 
us was very lovely, we remained there for a quarter of an 
hour. The ascent of the Owl's Head is certainly a thing 
to do, and I still think, in spite of our following misfortune, 
that it is a thing to do late in the afternoon. The view 
down upon the lakes and the forests around, and on the 
wooded hills below, is wonderfully lovely. I never was on 
a mountain which gave me a more perfect command of all 
the country round. But as we arose to descend we saw a 
little cloud coming toward us from over jS'ewport. 

The little cloud came on with speed, and we had hardly 
freed ourselves from the rocks of the summit before we 
were surrounded by rain. As the rain became thicker, we 
were surrounded by darkness also, or, if not by darkness, 
by so dim a light that it became a task to find our path. 
I still thought that the daylight had not gone, and that as 
we descended, and so escaped from the cloud, we should 
find light enough to guide us. But it was not so. The 
rain soon became a matter of indifference, and so also did 



the rand and briers beneath our feet. Even the steepness 
of the way was ahnost forgotten as we endeavored to thread 
our path through the forest before it should become im- 
possible to discern the track. A dog had followed us up, 
and though the beast would not stay with us so as to be 
our guide, he returned ever and anon, and made us aware 
of his presence by dashing by us. I may confess now that * 
I became much frightened. We were wet through, and a 
night out in the forest would have been unpleasant to us. 
At last I did utterly lose the track. It had become quite 
dark, so dark that we could hardly see each other. We 
had succeeded in getting down the steepest and worst part 
of the mountain, but we were still among dense forest trees, 
and up to our knees in mud. But the people at the Mount- 
ain House were Christians, and men with lanterns were 
sent hallooing after us through the dark night. When we 
were thus found we were not many yards from the path, 
but unfortunately on the wrong side of a stream. Through 
that we waded, and then made our way in safety to the inn. 
In spite of which misadventure I advise all travelers in 
Lower Canada to go up the Owl's Head. 

On the following day we crossed the lake to Georgeville, 
and drove around another lake called the Massawhippi back 
to Sherbrooke. This was all very well, for it showed us a 
part of the country which is comparatively well tilled, and 
has been long settled ; but the Massawhippi itself is not 
worth a visit. The route by which we returned occupies a 
longer time than the other, and is more costly, as it must be 
made in a hired vehicle. The people here are quiet, orderly, 
and I should say a little slow. It is manifest that a strong 
feeling against the Northern States has lately sprung up. 
This is much to be deprecated, but I cannot but say that it 
is natural. It is not that the Canadians have any special 
secession feelings, or that they have entered with peculiar 
warmth into the questions of American politics ; but they 
have been vexed and acerbated by the braggadocio of the 
JSTorthern States. They constantly hear that they are to 
be invaded, and translated into citizens of the Union ; that 
British rule is to be swept off the continent, and that the 
star-spangled banner is to be waved over them in pity. 
The star-spangled banner is in fact a fine flag, and has 
waved to some purpose ; but those who live near it, and 
not under it, fancy that they hear too much of it. At the 




present moment the loyalty of both the Canadas to Great 
Britain is beyond all question. From all that I can hear, 
I doubt whether this feeling in the provinces was ever so 
strong, and under such circumstances American abuse of 
England and American braggadocio is more than usually 
distasteful. All this abuse and all this braggadocio come 
to Canada from the Northern States, and therefore the 
Southern cause is at the present moment the more popular 
with them. 

I have said that the Canadians hereabouts are somewhat 
slow. As we were driving back to Sherbrooke it became 
necessary that we should rest for an hour or so in the mid- 
dle of the day, and for this purpose we stopped at a village 
inn. It was a large house, in which there appeared to be 
three public sitting-rooms of ample size, one of which was 
occupied as the bar. In this there were congregated some 
six or seven men, seated in arm-chairs round a stove, and 
among these I placed myself No one spoke a word either 
to me or to any one else. No one smoked, and no one 
read, nor did they even whittle sticks. I asked a question, 
first of one and then of another, and was answered with 
monosyllables. So I gave up any hope in that direction, 
and sat staring at the big stove in the middle of the room, 
as the others did. Presently another stranger entered, hav- 
ing arrived in a wagon, as I had done. He entered the 
room and sat down, addressing no one, and addressed by 
no one. After awhile, however, he spoke. "Will there 
be any chance of dinner here ?" he said. "I guess there'll 
be dinner by-and-by," answered the landlord, and then there 
was silence for another ten minutes, during which the 
stranger stared at the stove. "Is that dinner any way 
ready?" he asked again. "I guess it is," said the landlord. 
And then the stranger v/ent out to see after his dinner 
himself. When we started, at the end of an hour, nobody 
said anything to us. The driver "hitched" on the horses, 
as they call it, and we started on our way, having been 
charged nothing for our accommodation. That some profit 
arose from the horse provender is to be hoped. 

On the following day we reached Montreal, which, as I 
have said before, is the commercial capital of the two Prov- 
inces. This question of the capitals is at the present mo- 
ment a subject of great interest in Canada ; but, as I shall 
be driven to say something on the matter when I report 



myself as beinf^ at Ottawa, I will refrain now. There are 
two special public affairs at the present moment to interest 
a traveler in Canada. The first I have named, and the 
second is the Grand Trunk Railway. I have already stated 
what is the course of this line. It runs from the Western 
State of Michigan to Portland, on the Atlantic, in the State 
of Ataine, sweeping the whole length of Canada in its route. 
It was originally made by three companies. The Atlantic 
and St. Lawrence constructed it from Portland to Island 
Pond, on the borders of the States. The St. Lawrence and 
Atlantic took it from the southeastern side of the river at 
Montreal to the same point, viz., Island Pond. And the 
Grand Trunk Company have made it from Detroit to Mon- 
treal, crossing the river there with a stupendous tubular 
bridge, and have also made the branch connecting the main 
line with Quebec and Riviere du Loup. This latter com- 
pany is now incorporated with the St. Lawrence and Atlan- 
tic, but has only leased the portion of the line running through 
the States. This they have done, guaranteeing the share- 
holders an interest of six per cent. There never was a 
grander enterprise set on foot. I will not say there never 
was one more unfortunate, for is there not the Great East- 
ern, which, by the weight and constancy of its failures, de- 
mands for itself a proud pre-eminence of misfortune ? But 
surely the Grand Trunk comes next to it. I presume it to 
be quite out of the question that the shareholders should 
get any interest whatever on their shares for years. The 
company, when I was at Montreal, had not paid the interest 
due to the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company for the last 
year, and there was a doubt whether the lease would not be 
broken. No party that had advanced money to the under- 
taking was able to recover what had been advanced. I be- 
lieve that one fi.rm in London had lent nearly a million to 
the company, and is now willing to accept half the sum so 
lent in quittance of the whole debt. In 1860 the line could 
not carry the freight that offered, not having or being able 
to obtain the necessary rolling stock ; and on all sides I 
heard men discussing whether the line would be kept open 
for traflfic. The government of Canada advanced to the 
company three millions of money, with an understanding 
that neither interest nor principal should be demanded till 
all other debts were paid and all shareholders in receipt of 
six per cent, interest. But the three millions were clogged 



with conditions which, though they have been of service to 
the country, have been so expensive to the company that it 
is hardly more solvent with it than it would have been with- 
out it. As it is, the whole property seems to be involved 
in ruin ; and yet the line is one of the grandest commercial 
conceptions that was ever carried out on the face of the 
globe, and in the process of a few years will do more to 
make bread cheap in England than any other single enter- 
prise that exists. 

I do not know that blame is to be attached to any one. 
I at least attach no such blame. Probably it might be easy 
now to show that the road might have been made with suf- 
ficient accommodation for ordinary purposes without some 
of the more costly details. The great tubular bridge, on which 
was expended £1,300,000, might, I should think, have been 
dispensed with. The Detroit end of the line might have 
been left for later time. As it stands now, however, it is a 
wonderful operation carried to a successful issue as far as 
the public are concerned ; and one can only grieve that it 
should be so absolute a failure to those who have placed 
their money in it. There are schemes which seem to be too big 
for men to work out with any ordinary regard to profit and 
loss. The Great Eastern is one, and this is another. The 
national advantage arising from such enterprises is immense ; 
but the wonder is that men should be found willing to em- 
bark their money where the risk is so great and the return 
even hoped for is so small. 

While I was in Canada some gentlemen were there from 
the Lower Provinces — Nova Scotia, that is, and 'New Bruns- 
wick — agitating the subject of another great line of railway, 
from Quebec to Halifax. The project is one in favor of 
which very much may be said. In a national point of view 
an Englishman or a Canadian cannot but regret that there 
should be no winter mode of exit from, or entrance to, Can- 
ada, except through the United States. The St. Lawrence 
is blocked up for four or five months in winter, and the 
steamers which run to Quebec in the summer run to Port- 
land during the season of ice. There is at present no mode 
cf public conveyance between the Canadas and the Lower 
Provinces ; and an immense district of country on the bor- 
ders of Lower Canada, through New Brunswick, and into 
Nova Scotia, is now absolutely closed against civilization, 
which by such a railway would be opened up to the light 



of day. We all know how much the want of sucli a road 
was felt when our troops were being forwarded to Canada 
during the last winter. It was necessary they should reach 
their destination without delay ; and as the river was closed, 
and the passing of troops through the States was of course 
out of the question, that long overland journey across Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick became a necessity. It would 
certainly be a very great thing for British interests if a di- 
rect line could be made from such a port as Halifax, a port 
which is open throughout the whole year, up into the Can- 
adas. If these colonies belonged to France or to any other 
despotic government, the thing would be done. But the 
colonies do not belong to any despotic government. 

Such a line would, in fact, be a continuance of the Grand 
Trunk ; and who that looks at the present state of the 
finances of the Grand Trunk can think it to be on the cards 
that private enterprise should come forward with more 
money — with more millions ? The idea is that England 
will advance the money, and that the English House of 
Commons will guarantee the interest, with some counter- 
guarantee from the colonies that this interest shall be duly 
paid. But it would seem that, if such colonial guarantee 
is to go for anything, the colonies might raise the money in 
the money market without the intervention of the British 
House of Commons. 

Montreal is an exceedingly good commercial town, and 
business there is brisk. It has now 85,000 inhabitants. 
Having said that of it, I do not know what more there is 
left to say. Yes ; one word there is to say of Sir William 
Logan, the creator of the Geological Museum there, and 
the head of all matters geological throughout the province. 
While he was explaining to me with admirable perspicuity 
the result of investigations into which he had poured his 
whole heart, I stood by, understanding almost nothing, but 
envying everything. That I understood almost nothing, I 
know he perceived. That, ever and anon, with all his gra- 
ciousness, became apparent. But I wonder whether he 
perceived also that I did envy everything. I have listened 
to geologists by the hour before — have had to listen to 
them, desirous simply of escape. I have listened, and un- 
derstood absolutely nothing, and have only wished myself 
away. But I could have listened to Sir William Logan for 
the whole day, if time allowed. I found, even in that hour, 



that some ideas found their way through to me, and I began 
to fancy that even I could become a geologist at Montreal. 

Over and beyond Sir William Logan, there is at Montreal 
for strangers the drive round the mountain, not very excit- 
ing, and there is the tubular bridge over the St. Lawrence. 
This, it must be understood, is not made in one tube, as is 
that over the Menai Straits, but is divided into, I think, 
thirteen tubes. To the eye there appear to be twenty-five 
tubes ; but each of the six side tubes is supported by a pier 
in the middle. A great part of the expense of the bridge 
was incurred in sinking the shafts for these piers. 



Ottawa is in Upper Canada, but crossing the suspension 
bridge from Ottawa into Hull, the traveler is in Lower 
Canada. It is therefore exactly in the confines, and has 
been chosen as the site of the new government capital very 
much for this reason. Other reasons have no doubt had a 
share in the decision. At the time when the choice was 
made Ottawa was not large enough to create the jealousy 
of the more populous towns. Though not on the main 
line of railway, it was connected with it by a branch rail- 
way, and it is also connected with the St. Lawrence by 
water communication. And then it stands nobly on a mag- 
nificent river, with high, overhanging rock, and a natural 
grandeur of position which has perhaps gone far in recom- 
mending it to those whose voice in the matter has been 
potential. Having the world of Canada from whence to 
choose the site of a new town, the choosers have certainly 
chosen well. It is another question whether or no a new 
town should have been deemed necessary. 

Perhaps it may be well to explain the circumstances un- 
der which it was thought expedient thus to establish a new 
Canadian capital. In 1841, when Lord Sydenham was 
Governor-General of the provinces, the two Canadas, sep- 
arate till then, were united under one government. At that 



time the people of Lower or French Canada, and the peo- 
ple of Upper or English Canada, differed much more in 
their habits and lang*uage than they do now. I do not 
know that the English have become in any way Gallicized, 
but the French have been very materially Anglicized. But 
while this has been in progress national jealousy has been 
at work, and even yet that national jealousy is not at an 
end. While the two provinces were divided there were, of 
course, two capitals, and two seats of government. These 
were at Quebec for Lower Canada, and at Toronto for 
Tipper Canada, both which towns are centrically situated as 
regards the respective provinces. When the union was 
effected, it was deemed expedient that there should be but 
one capital ; and the small town of Kingstown was selected, 
which is situated on the lower end of Lake Ontario, in the 
upper province. But Kingstown was found to be inconve- 
nient, lacking space and accommodation for those who had 
to follow the government, and the Governor removed it and 
himself to Montreal. Montreal is in the lower province, 
but is very central to both the provinces; and it is more- 
over the chief town in Canada. This would have done 
very well but for an unforeseen misfortune. 

It will be remembered by most readers that in 183Y took 
place the Mackenzie-Papineau rebellion, of which those 
who were then old enough to be politicians heard so much 
in England. I am not going back to recount the history of 
the period, otherwise than to say that the English Cana- 
dians at that time, in withstanding and combating the rebels, 
did considerable injury to the property of certain French 
Canadians, and that, when the rebellion had blown over and 
those in fault had been pardoned, a question arose whether 
or no the government should make good the losses of those 
French Canadians who had been injured. The English 
Canadians protested that it would be monstrous that they 
should be taxed to repair damages suffered by rebels, and 
made necessary in the suppression of rebellion. The French 
Canadians declared that the rebellion had been only a just 
assertion of their rights ; that if there had been crime on 
the part of those who took up arms, that crime had been 
condoned, and that the damages had not fallen exclusively 
or even chiefly on those who had done so. I will give no 
opinion on the merits of the question, but simply say that 
blood ran very hot when it was discussed. At last the 



Houses of the Provincial Parliament, then assembled at 
Montreal, decreed that the losses should be made good by 
the public treasury; and the English mob in Montreal, 
when this decree became known, was roused to great wrath 
by a decision which seemed to be condemnatory of English 
loyalty. It pelted Lord Elgin, the Governor-General, with 
rotten eggs, and burned down the Parliament house. Hence 
there arose, not unnaturally, a strong feeling of anger on 
the part of the local government against Montreal; and 
moreover there was no longer a house in which the Parlia- 
ment could be held in that town. For these conjoint rea- 
sons it was decided to move the seat of government again, 
and it was resolved that the Governor and the Parliament 
should sit alternately at Toronto in Tipper Canada, and at 
Quebec in Lower Canada, remaining four years at each 
place. They went at first to Toronto for two years only, 
having agreed that they should be there on this occasion 
only for the remainder of the term of the then Parliament. 
After that they were at Quebec for four years; then at To- 
ronto for four ; and now again are at Quebec. But this 
arrangement has been found very inconvenient. In the 
first place there is a great national expenditure incurred in 
moving old records and in keeping double records, in mov- 
ing the library, and, as I have been informed, even the pic- 
tures. The government clerks also are called on to move 
as the government moves ; and though an allowance is made 
to them from the national purse to cover their loss, the ar- 
rangement has nevertheless been felt by them to be a griev- 
ance, as may be well understood. The accommodation also 
for the ministers of the government and for mem^bers of 
the two Houses has been insufficient. Hotels, lodgings, 
and furnished houses could not be provided to the extent 
required, seeing that they would be left nearly empty for 
every alternate space of four years. Indeed, it needs but 
little argument to prove that the plan adopted must have 
been a thoroughly uncomfortable plan, and the wonder is 
that it should liave been adopted. Lower Canada had un- 
dertaken to make all her leading citizens wretched, provid- 
ing Upper Canada would treat hers with equal severity. 
This has now gone on for some twelve years, and as the 
system was found to be an unendurable nuisance, it has 
been at last admitted that some steps must be taken 
toward selecting one capital for the country. 


I should here, in justice to the Canadians, state a remark 
made to me on this matter by one of the present leading 
politicians of the colony. I cannot think that the migra- 
tory scheme was good; but he defended it, asserting that 
it had done very much to amalgamate the people of the two 
provinces; that it had brought Lower Canadians into Up- 
per Canada, and Upper Canadians into Lower Canada, 
teaching English to those who spoke only French before, 
and making each pleasantly acquainted with the other. I 
have no doubt that something — perhaps much — has been 
done in this way; but valuable as the result may have been, 
I cannot think it worth the cost of the means employed. 
Tlie best answer to the above argument consists in the un- 
doubted fact that a migratory government would never 
have been established for such a reason. It was so estab- 
lished because Montreal, the central town, had given offense, 
and because the jealousy of the provinces against each other 
would not admit of the government being placed entirely at 
Quebec, or entirely at Toronto. 

But it was necessary that some step should be taken ; 
and as it was found to be unlikely that any resolution should 
be reached by the joint provinces themselves, it was loyally 
and wisely determined to refer the matter to the Queen. 
That Her Majesty has constitutionally the power to call the 
Parliament of Canada at any town of Canada which she 
may select, admits, I conceive, of no doubt. It is, I imag- 
ine, within her prerogative to call the Parliament of England 
where she may please within that realm, though her lieges 
would be somewhat startled if it were called otherwhere than 
in London. It was therefore well done to ask Her Majesty 
to act as arbiter in the matter. But there are not wanting 
those in Canada who say that in referring the matter to the 
Queen it was in truth referring it to those by whom very 
many of the Canadians were least willing to be guided in 
the matter; to the Governor-General namely, and the Colo- 
nial Secretary. Many indeed in Canada now declare that 
the decision simply placed the matter in the hands of the 

Be that as it may, I do not think that any unbiased trav- 
eler will doubt that the best possible selection has been 
made, presuming always, as we may presume in the discus- 
sion, that Montreal could not be selected. I take for granted 
that the rejection of Montreal was regarded as a sine qua 



non in the decision. To me it appears grievous that this 
should have been so. It is a great thing for any country 
to have a large, leading, world-known city, and I think that 
the government should combine with the commerce of the 
country in carrying out this object. But commerce can do 
a great deal more for government than government can do 
for commerce. Government has selected Ottawa as the 
capital of Canada; but commerce has already made Mon- 
treal the capital, and Montreal will be the chief city of 
Canada, let government do what it may to foster the other 
town. The idea of spiting a town because there has been 
a row in it seems to me to be preposterous. The row was 
not the work of those who have made Montreal rich and 
respectable. Montreal is more centrical than Ottawa — nay, 
it is as nearly centrical as any town can be. It is easier to 
get to Montreal from Toronto than to Ottawa; and if from 
Toronto, then from all that distant portion of Upper Can- 
ada back of Toronto. To all Lower Canada Montreal is, 
as a matter of course, much easier of access than Ottawa. 
But having said so much in favor of Montreal, I will again 
admit that, putting aside Montreal, the best possible selec- 
tion has been made. 

When Ottawa was named, no time was lost in setting to 
work to prepare for the new migration. In 1859 the Par- 
liament was removed to Quebec, with the understanding 
that it should remain there till the new buildings should be 
completed. These buildings were absolutely commenced in 
April, 1860, and it was, and I believe still is, expected that 
they will be completed in 1863. I am now writing in the 
winter of 1861; and, as is necessary in Canadian winters, 
the works are suspended. But unfortunately they were sus- 
pended in the early part of October — on the first of Octo- 
ber — whereas they might have been continued, as far as the 
season is concerned, up to the end of November. We reached 
Ottawa on the third of October, and more than a thousand 
men had then been just dismissed. All the money in hand had 
been expended, and the government — so it was said — could 
give no more money till Parliament should meet again. 
This was most unfortunate. In the first place the suspen- 
sion was against the contract as made with the contractors 
for the building; in the next place there was the delay; 
and then, worst of all, the question again became agitated 
whether the colonial legislature were really in earnest with 



reference to Ottawa. Many men of mark in the colony 
were still anxious — I believe are still anxious — to put an 
end to the Ottawa scheme, and think that there still exists 
for them a chance of success. And very many men who 
are not of mark are thus united, and a feeling of doubt on 
the subject has been created. Two hundred and twenty- 
five thousand pounds have already been spent on these build- 
ings, and I have no doubt myself that they will be duly 
completed and duly used. 

We went up to the new town by boat, taking the course 
of the River Ottawa. We passed St. Ann's, but no one 
at St. Ann's seemed to know anything of the brothers who 
were to rest there on their weary oars. At Maxwellstown 
I could hear nothing of Annie Laurie or of her trysting- 
place on the braes ; and the turnpike man at Tara could 
tell me nothing of the site of the hall, and had never even 
heard of the harp. When I go down South, I shall expect 
to find that the negro melodies have not yet reached " Old 
Virginie." This boat conveyance from Montreal to Ottawa 
is not all that could be wished in convenience, for it is allied 
too closely with railway traveling. Those who use it leave 
Montreal by a railway ; after nine miles, they are changed 
into a steamboat. Then they encounter another railway, 
and at last reach Ottawa in a second steamboat. But the 
river is seen, and a better idea of the country is obtained 
than can be had solely from the railway cars. The scenery 
is by no means grand, nor is it strikingly picturesque, but 
it is in its way interesting. For a long portion of the river 
the old primeval forests come down close to the water's 
edge, and in the fall of the year the brilliant coloring is 
very lovely. It should not be imagined, as I think it often 
is imagined, that these forests are made up of splendid 
trees, or that splendid trees are even common. When tim- 
ber grows on und rained ground, and when it is uncared for, 
it does not seem to approach nearer to its perfection than 
wheat and grass do under similar circumstances. Seen 
from a little distance, the color and effect is good ; but the 
trees themselves have shallow roots, and grow up tall, nar- 
row, and shapeless. It necessarily is so with all timber that 
is not thinned in its growth. When fine forest trees are 
found, and are left standing alone by any cultivator who 
may have taste enough to wish for such adornment, they 
almost invariably die. They are robbed of the sickly shel- 



ter by wliicli they have been surrounded ; the hot sun strikes 
the uncovered fibers of the roots, and the poor, solitary in- 
valid languishes, and at last dies. 

As one ascends the river, which by its breadth forms 
itself into lakes, one is shown Indian villages clustering 
down upon the bank. Some years ago these Indians were 
rich, for the price of furs, in which they dealt, was high ; 
but furs have become cheaper, and the beavers, with which 
they used to trade, are almost valueless. That a change in 
the fashion of hats should have assisted to polish these poor 
fellows off the face of creation, must, one may suppose, be 
very unintelligible to them ; but nevertheless it is probably 
a subject of deep speculation. If the reading world were 
to take to sermons again and eschew their novels, Messrs. 
Thackeray, Dickens, and some others would look about 
them and inquire into the causes of such a change with con- 
siderable acuteness. They might not, perhaps, hit the truth, 
and these Indians are much in that predicament. It is said 
that very few pure-blooded Indians are now to be found in 
their villages, but I doubt whether this is not erroneous. 
The children of the Indians are now fed upon baked bread 
and on cooked meat, and are brought up in houses. They 
are nursed somewhat as the children of the white men are 
nursed ; and these practices no doubt have done much to- 
ward altering their appearance. The negroes who have 
been bred in the States, and whose fathers have been so 
bred before them, differ both in color and form from their 
brothers who have been born and nurtured in Africa. 

I said in the last chapter that the City of Ottawa was still 
to be built ; but I must explain, lest I should draw down 
on my head the wrath of the Ottawaites, that the place 
already contains a population of 15,000 inhabitants. As, 
however, it is being prepared for four times that number — 
for eight times that number, let us hope — and as it straggles 
over a vast extent of ground, it gives one the idea of a city 
in an active course of preparation. In England we know 
nothing about unbuilt cities. With us four or five blocks 
of streets together never assume that ugly, unfledged ap- 
pearance which belongs to the half-finished carcass of a 
house, as they do so often on the other side of the Atlantic. 
Ottawa is preparing for itself broad streets and grand thor- 
oughfares. The buildings already extend over a length 
considerably exceeding two miles ; and half a dozen hotels 


have been opened, which, if I were writing a guide-book in 
a complimentary tone, it would be my duty to describe as 
first rate. But the half dozen first-rate hotels, though open, 
as yet enjoy but a moderate amount of custom. All this 
Justifies me, I think, in saying that the city has as yet to get 
itself built. The manner in which this is being done justi- 
fies me also in saying that the Ottawaites are going about 
their task with a worthy zeal. 

To me I confess that the nature of the situation has 
great charms, regarding it as the site for a town. It is not 
on a plain ; and from the form of the rock overhanging the 
river, and of the hill that falls from thence down to the 
water, it has been found impracticable to lay out the place 
in right-angled parallelograms. A right-angled parallelo- 
gramical city, such as are Philadelphia and the new portion 
of New York, is from its very nature odious to me. I 
know that much may be said in its favor — that drainage 
and gas-pipes come easier to such a shape, and that ground 
can be better economized. Nevertheless, I prefer a street 
that is forced to twist itself about. I enjoy the narrowness 
of Temple Bar and the misshapen curvature of Picket Street. 
The disreputable dinginess of Hollowell Street is dear to 
me, and I love to thread my way up the Olympic into Cov- 
ent Garden. Fifth Avenue in New York is as grand as 
paint and glass can make it ; but I would not live in a pal- 
ace in Fifth Avenue if the corporation of the city would 
pay my baker's and butcher's bills. 

The town of Ottawa lies between two waterfalls. The 
upper one, or Rideau Fall, is formed by the confluence of a 
small river with the larger one ; and the lower fall — desig- 
nated as lower because it is at the foot of the hill, though 
it is higher up the Ottawa River — is called the Chaudiere, 
from its resemblance to a boiling kettle. This is on the 
Ottawa River itself. The Rideau Fall is divided into two 
branches, thus forming an island in the middle, as is the 
case at Niagara. It is pretty enough, and worth visiting 
even Avere it farther from the town than it is ; but by 
those who have hunted out many cataracts in their travels 
it will not be considered very remarkable. The Chaudiere 
Fall I did think very remarkable. It is of trifling depth, 
being formed by fractures in the rocky bed of the river ; 
but the waters have so cut the rock as to create beautiful 
forms in the rush which they make in their descent. Stran- 




gers are told to look at these falls from the suspension 
bridge ; and it is well that they should do so. But, in so 
looking at them, they obtain but a very small part of their 
effect. On the Ottawa side of the bridge is a brewery, 
which brewery is surrounded by a huge timber-yard. This 
timber yard I found to be very muddy, and the passing and 
repassing through it is a work of trouble ; but nevertheless 
let the traveler by all means make his way through the mud, 
and scramble over the timber, and cross the plank bridges 
which traverse the streams of the saw-mills, and thus take 
himself to the outer edge of the wood-work over the water. 
If he will then seat himself, about the hour of sunset, he 
will see the Chaudiere Fall aright. 

But the glory of Ottawa will be — and, indeed, already is 
— the set of public buildings which is now being erected on 
the rock which guards, as it were, the town from the river. 
How much of the excellence of these buildings may be due 
to the taste of Sir Edmund Head, the late governor, I do 
not know. That he has greatly interested himself in the 
subject, is well known ; and, as the style of the different 
buildings is so much alike as to make one whole, though the 
designs of different architects were selected and these dif- 
ferent architects employed, 1 imagine that considerable al- 
terations must have been made in the original drawings. 
There are three buildings, forming three sides of a quad- 
rangle ; but they are not joined, the vacant spaces at the 
corner being of considerable extent. The fourth side of 
the quadrangle opens upon one of the principal streets of 
the town. The center building is intended for the Houses 
of Parliament, and the two side buildings for the govern- 
ment offices. Of the first Messrs. Fuller and Jones are the 
architects, and of the latter Messrs. Stent and Laver. I 
did not have the pleasure of meeting any of these gentle- 
men ; but I take upon myself to say that, as regards purity 
of art and manliness of conception, their joint work is en- 
titled to the very highest praise. How far the buildings 
may be well arranged for the required purposes — how far 
they may be economical in construction or specially adapted 
to the severe climate of the country — I cannot say ; but I 
have no hesitation in risking my reputation for judgment 
in giving my warmest commendation to them as regards 
beauty of outline and truthful nobility of detail. 

T shall not attempt to describe them, for I should interest 



no one in doing so, and should certainly fail in my attempt 
to make any reader understand me. I know no modern 
Gothic purer of its kind or less sullied with fictitious orna- 
mentation. Our own Houses of Parliament are very fine, 
but it is, I believe, generally felt that the ornamentation is 
too minute ; and, moreover, it may be questioned whether 
perpendicular Gothic is capable of the highest nobility 
which architecture can achieve. I do not pretend to say 
that these Canadian public buildings will reach that highest 
nobility. They must be finished before any final judgment 
can be pronounced ; but I do feel very certain that that 
final judgment will be greatly in their favor. The total 
frontage of the quadrangle, including the side buildings, is 
1200 feet; that of the center buildings is 4t5. As I have 
said before, £225,000 have already been expended ; and it 
is estimated that the total cost, including the arrangement 
and decoration of the ground behind the building and in 
the quadrangle, will be half a million. 

The buildings front upon what will, I suppose, be the 
principal street of Ottawa, and they stand upon a rock 
looking immediately down upon the river. In this way 
they are blessed with a site peculiarly happy. Indeed, I 
cannot at this moment remember any so much so. The 
Castle of Edinburgh stands very well ; but then, like many 
other castles, it stands on a summit by itself, and can only 
be approached by a steep ascent. These buildings at Ot- 
tawa, though they look down from a grand eminence imme- 
diately on the river, are approached from the town without 
any ascent. The rock, though it falls almost precipitously 
down to the water, is covered with trees and shrubs ; and 
then the river that runs beneath is rapid, bright, and pic- 
turesque in the irregularity of all its lines. The view from 
the back of the library, up to the Chaudiere Falls and to 
the saw-mills by which they are surrounded, is very lovely. 
So that I will say again that I know no site for such a set 
of buildings so happy as regards both beauty and grandeur. 
It is intended that the library, of which the walls were only 
ten feet above the ground when I was there, shall be an 
octagonal building, in shape and outward character like the 
chapter house of a cathedral. This structure will, I pre- 
sume, be surrounded by gravel walks and green sward. Of 
the library there is a large model showing all the details of 
the architecture ; and if that model be ultimately followed, 



this building alone will be worthy of a visit from English 
tourists. To me it was very wonderful to find such an edi- 
fice in the course of erection on the banks of a wild river 
almost at tlie back of Canada. But if ever I visit Canada 
again, it will be to see those buildings. when completed. 

And now, like all friendly critics, having bestowed my 
modicum of praise, I must proceed to find fault. I cannot 
bring myself to administer my sugar-plum without adding to 
it some bitter morsel by way of antidote. The building to 
the left of the quadrangle as it is entered is deficient in 
length, and on that account appears mean to the eye. The 
two side buildings are brought up close to the street, so 
that each has a frontage immediately on the street. Such 
being the case, they should be of equal length, or nearly so. 
Had the center of one fronted the center of the other, a 
difference of length might have been allowed ; but in this 
case the side front of the smaller one would not have 
reached the street. As it is, the space between the main 
building and the smaller wing is disproportionably large, 
and the very distance at which it stands will, I fear, give to it 
that appearance of meanness of which I have spoken. The 
clerk of the works, who explained to me with much cour- 
tesy the plan of the buildings, stated that the design of this 
wing was capable of elongation, and had been expressly 
prepared with that object. If this be so, I trust that the 
defect will be remedied. 

The great trade of Canada is lumbering ; and lumbering 
consists in cutting down pine-trees up in the far distant 
forests, in hewing or sawing them into shape for market, 
and getting them down the rivers to Quebec, from whence 
they are exported to Europe, and chiefly to England. Tim- 
ber in Canada is called lumber ; those engaged in the trade 
are called lumberers, and the business itself is called lum- 
bering. After a lapse of time it must no doubt become 
monotonous to those engaged in it, and the name is not en- 
gaging ; but there is much about it that is very picturesque. 
A saw-mill w^orked by water power is almost always a pretty 
object ; and stacks of new-cut timber are pleasant to the 
smell, and group themselves not amiss on the water's edge. 
If I had the time, and were a year or two younger, I should 
love well to go up lumbering into the woods. The men for 
this purpose are hired in the fall of the year, and are sent 
up hundreds of miles away to the pine forests in strong 



gangs. Everything is there found for tliem. They make 
log huts for their shelter, and food of the best and the 
strongest is taken up for their diet. But no strong drink 
of any kind is allowed, nor is any within reach of the men. 
There are no publics, no shebeen houses, no grog-shops. 
Sobriety is an enforced virtue ; and so much is this consid- 
ered by the masters, and understood by the men, that very 
little contraband work is done in the way of taking up spir- 
its to these settlements. It may be said that the work up 
in the forests is done with the assistance of no stronger 
drink than tea; and it is very hard work. There cannot 
be much work that is harder ; and it is done amid the 
snows and forests of a Canadian winter. A convict in Ber- 
muda cannot get through his daily eight hours of light labor 
without an allowance of rum ; but a Canadian lumberer 
can manage to do his daily task on tea without milk. These 
men, however, are by no means teetotalers. When they 
come back to the towns they break out, and reward them- 
selves for their long-enforced moderation. The wages I 
found to be very various, running from thirteen or fourteen 
dollars a month to twenty-eight or thirty, according to the 
nature of the work. The men who cut down the trees re- 
ceive more than those who hew them when down, and these 
again more than the under class who make the roads and 
clear the ground. These money wages, however, are in ad- 
dition to their diet. The operation requiring the most skill 
is that of marking the trees for the axe. The largest only 
are worth cutting, and form and soundness must also be 

But if I were about to visit a party of lumberers in the 
forest, I should not be disposed to pass a whole winter with 
them. Even of a very good thing one may have too much. 
I would go up in the spring, when the rafts are being formed 
in the small tributary streams, and I would come down upon 
one of them, shooting the rapids of the rivers as soon as 
the first freshets had left the way open. A freshet in the 
rivers is the rush of waters occasioned by melting snow and 
ice. The first freshets take down the winter waters of the 
nearer lakes and rivers. Then the streams become for a 
time navigable, and the rafts go down. After that comes 
the second freshet, occasioned by the melting of far-off snow 
and ice up in the great northern lakes, which are little known. 
These rafts are of immense construction, such as those which 



we have seen on the Rhone and Rhine, and often contain 
timber to the vahie of two, tliree, and four thousand pounds. 
At the rapids the large rafts are, as it were, unyoked, and 
divided into small portions, which go down separately. The 
excitement and motion of sucli transit must, I should say, 
be very joyous. I was told that the Prince of Wales desired 
to go down a rapid on a raft, but that the men in charge 
would not undertake to say that there was no possible dan- 
ger ; whereupon those who accompanied the prince re- 
quested his Royal Highness to forbear. I fear that, in 
these careful days, crowned heads and their heirs must often 
find themselves in the position of Sancho at the banquet. 
The sailor prince, who came after his brother, was allowed 
to go down a rapid, and got, as I was told, rather a rough 
bump as he did so. 

Ottawa is a great place for these timber rafts. Indeed, 
it may, I think, be called the headquarters of timber for the 
world. Nearly all the best pine-wood comes down the Ot- 
tawa and its tributaries. The other rivers by which timber 
is brought down to the St. Lawrence are chiefly the St. 
Maurice, the Madawaska, and the Saguenay ; but the Ot- 
tawa and its tributaries water ^75,000 square miles, whereas 
the other three rivers, with their tributaries, water only 
53,000. The timber from the Ottawa and St. Maurice finds 
its way down the St. Lawrence to Quebec, where, however, 
it loses the whole of its picturesque character. The Sa- 
guenay and the Madawaska fall into the St. Lawrence below 

From Ottawa we went by rail to Prescott, which is surely 
one of the most wretched little places to be found in any 
country. Immediately opposite to it, on the other side of 
the St. Lawrence, is the thriving town of Ogdensburg. But 
Ogdensburg is in the United States. Had we been able to 
learn at Ottawa any facts as to the hours of the river 
steamers and railways, we might have saved time and have 
avoided Prescott ; but this was out of the question. Had 
I asked the exact hour at which I might reach Calcutta by 
the quickest route, an accurate reply w^ould not have been 
more out of the question. I was much struck, at Prescott 
— and, indeed, all through Canada, though more in the up- 
per than in the lower province — by the sturdy roughness, 
some would call it insolence, of those of the lower classes 
of the people with whom I was brought into contact. If 



the words " lower classes" give offense to any reader, I beg 
to apologize — to apologize, and to assert that I am one of 
the last of men to apply such a term in a sense of reproach 
to those who earn their bread by the labor of their hands. 
But it is hard to find terms which will be understood ; and 
that term, whether it give offense or no, will be understood. 
Of course such a complaint as that I now make is very com- 
mon as made against the States. Men in the States, with 
horned hands and fustian coats, are very often most unne- 
cessarily insolent in asserting their independence. What I 
now mean to say is that precisely the same fault is to be 
found in Canada. I know well what the men mean when 
they offend in this manner. And when I think on the sub- 
ject with deliberation at my own desk, I can not only excuse, 
but almost approve them. But when one personally en- 
counters this corduroy braggadocio ; when the man to whose 
services one is entitled answers one with determined inso- 
lence ; when one is bidden to follow " that young lady," 
meaning the chambermaid, or desired, with a toss of the 
head, to wait for the "gentleman who is coming," meaning 
the boots, the heart is sickened, and the English traveler 
pines for the civility — for the servility, if my American 
friends choose to call it so — of a well-ordered servant. But 
the whole scene is easily construed, and turned into Eng- 
lish. A man is asked by a stranger some question about 
his employment, and he replies in a tone which seems to 
imply anger, insolence, and a dishonest intention to evade 
the service for which he is paid. Or, if there be no ques- 
tion of service or payment, the man's manner will be the 
same, and the stranger feels that he is slapped in the face 
and insulted. The translation of it is this : The man ques- 
tioned, who is aware that as regards coat, hat, boots, and 
outward cleanliness he is below him by whom he is ques- 
tioned, unconsciously feels himself called upon to assert his 
political equality. It is his shibboleth that he is politically 
equal to the best, that he is independent, and that his labor, 
though it earn him but a dollar a day by porterage, places 
him as a citizen on an equal rank with the most wealthy 
fellow-man that may employ or accost him. But, being so 
inferior in that coat, hat, and boots matter, he is forced to 
assert his equality by some effort. As he improves in ex- 
ternals, he will diminish the roughness of his claim. As 
long as the man makes his claim with any roughness, so long 



does he acknowledge within himself some feeling of external 
inferiority. When that has gone — when the American has 
polislied himself up by education and general well-being to 
a feeling of external equality with gentlemen, he shows, I 
think, no more of that outward braggadocio of independ- 
ence than a Frenchman. 

But the blow at the moment of the stroke is very galling. 
I confess that I have occasionally all but broken down 
beneath it. But when it is thought of afterward it admits 
of full excuse. No effort that a man can make is better 
than a true effort at independence. But this insolence is a 
false effort, it will be said. It should rather be called a 
false accompaniment to a life-long true effort. The man 
probably is not dishonest, does not desire to shirk any serv- 
ice which is due from him, is not even inclined to inso- 
lence. Accept his first declaration of equality for that 
which it is intended to represent, and the man afterward 
will be found obliging and communicative. If occasion 
offer he will sit down in the room with you, and will talk 
with you on any subject that he may choose; but having 
once ascertained that you show no resentment for this asser- 
tion of equality, he will do pretty nearly all that is asked. 
He will at any rate do as much in that way as an English- 
man. I say thus much on this subject now especially, be- 
cause I was quite as much struck by the feeling in Canada 
as I was within the States. 

From Prescott we went on by the Grand Trunk Railway 
to Toronto, and stayed there for a few days. Toronto is 
the capital of the province of Upper Canada, and I pre- 
sume will in some degree remain so, in spite of Ottawa and 
its pretensions. That is, the law courts will still be held 
there. I do not know that it will enjoy any other suprem- 
acy unless it be that of trade and population. Some few 
years ago Toronto was advancing with rapid strides, and 
was bidding fair to rival Quebec, or even perhaps Montreal. 
Hamilton also, another town of Upper Canada, was going 
ahead in the true American style; but then reverses came 
in trade, and the towns were checked for awhile. Toronto, 
with a neighboring suburb which is a part of it, as South- 
wark is of London, contains now over 50,000 inhabitants. 
The streets are all parallelogramical, and there is not a sin- 
gle curvature to rest the eye. It is built down close upon 



Lake Ontario ; and as it is also on the Grand Trunk Rail- 
way, it has all the aid which facility of traffic can give it. 

The two sights of Toronto are the Osgoode Hall and 
the University. The Osgoode Hall is to Upper Canada 
what the Four Courts are to Ireland. The law courts are 
all held there. Exteriorly, little can be said for Osgoode 
Hall, whereas the exterior of the Four Courts in Dublin is 
very fine; but as an interior, the temple of Themis at To- 
ronto beats hollow that which the goddess owns in Dublin. 
In Dublin the courts themselves are shabby, and the space 
under the dome is not so fine as the exterior seems to prom- 
ise that it should be. In Toronto the courts themselves are, 
I think, the most commodious that I ever saw, and the pas- 
sages, vestibules, and hall are very handsome. In Upper 
Canada the common-law judges and those in chancery are 
divided as they are in England ; but it is, as I was told, 
the opinion of Canadian lawyers that the work may be 
thrown together. Appeal is allowed in criminal cases; but 
as far as I could learn such power of appeal is held to be 
both troublesome and useless. In Lower Canada the old 
French laws are still administered. 

But the University is the glory of Toronto. This is a 
Gothic building, and will take rank after, but next to, the 
buildings at Ottawa. It will be the second piece of noble 
architecture in Canada, and as far as I know on the Amer- 
ican continent. It is, I believe, intended to be purely Nor- 
man, though I doubt whether the received types of Norman 
architecture have not been departed from in many of the 
windows. Be this as it may, the college is a manly, noble 
structure, free from false decoration, and infinitely creditable 
to those who projected it. I was informed by the head of 
the college that it has been open only two years ; and here 
also I fancy that the colony has been much indebted to the 
taste of the late Governor, Sir Edmund Head. 

Toronto as a city is not generally attractive to a traveler. 
The country around it is flat ; and, though it stands on a 
lake, that lake has no attributes of beauty. Large inland 
seas, such as are these great Northern lakes of America, 
never have such attributes. Picturesque mountains rise 
from narrow valleys, such as form the beds of lakes in 
Switzerland, Scotland, and Northern Italy; but from such 
broad waters as those of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and 




Lake Michigan, the shores shelve very gradually, and have 
none of the materials of lovely scenery. 

The streets in Toronto are framed with wood, or rather 
planked, as are those of Montreal and Quebec; but they 
are kept in better order. I should say that the planks are 
first used at Toronto, then sent down by the lake to Mon- 
treal, and when all but rotted out there, are again floated 
off by the St. Lawrence to be used in the thoroughfares of 
the old French capital. But if the streets of Toronto are 
better than those of the other towns, the roads around it 
are worse. I had the honor of meeting two distinguished 
members of the Provincial Parliament at dinner some few 
miles out of town, and, returning back a short while after 
they had left our host's house, was glad to be of use in 
picking them up from a ditch into which their carriage had 
been upset. To me it appeared all but miraculous that any 
carriage should make its way over that road without such 
misadventure. I may perhaps be allowed to hope that the 
discomfiture of these worthy legislators may lead to some 
improvement in the thoroughfare. 

I had on a previous occasion gone down the St. Law- 
rence, through the Thousand Isles and over the Rapids, in 
one of those large summer steamboats which ply upon the 
lake and river. I cannot say that I was much struck by 
the scenery, and therefore did not encroach upon my time 
by making the journey again. Such an opinion will be 
regarded as heresy by many who think much of the Thou- 
sand Islands. I do not believe that they would be expressly 
noted by any traveler who was not expressly bidden to ad- 
mire them. 

From Toronto we went across to Niagara, re-entering 
the States at Lewiston, in New York. 




"When the American war began troops were sent out to 
Canada, and when I was in the provinces more troops were 
then expected. The matter was much talked of, as a mat- 
ter of course, in Canada, and it had been discussed in Eng- 
land before I left. I had seen much said about it in the 
English papers since, and it also had become the subject of 
very hot question among the politicians of the Northern 
States. The measure had at that time given more um- 
brage to the North than anything else done or said by 
England from the beginning of the war up to that time, 
except the declaration made by Lord John Russell in the 
House of Commons as to the neutrality to be preserved by 
England between the two belligerents. The argument used 
by the Northern States was this : If France collects men 
and material of war in the neighborhood of England, Eng- 
land considers herself injured, calls for an explanation, and 
talks of invasion. Therefore, as England is now collecting 
men and material of war in our neighborhood, we will con- 
sider ourselves injured. It does not suit us to ask for an 
explanation, because it is not our habit to interfere with 
other nations. We will not pretend to say that we think 
we are to be invaded. But as we clearly are injured, we 
will express our anger at that injury, and when the oppor- 
tunity shall come will take advantage of having that new 

As we all know, a very large increase of force was sent 
when we were still in doubt as to the termination of the 
Trent affair, and imagined that war was imminent. But 
the sending of that large force did not anger the Americans 
as the first dispatch of troops to Canada had angered them. 
Things had so turned out that measures of military precau- 
tion were acknowledged by them to be necessary. I can- 
not, however, but think that Mr. Seward might have spared 
that offer to send British troops across Maine, and so also 


have all his countrymen thought by whom I have heard the 
matter discussed. 

As to any attempt at invasion of Canada by the Ameri- 
cans, or idea of punishing the alleged injuries sufiered by 
the States from Great Britain by the annexation of those 
provinces, I do not believe that any sane-minded citizens 
of the States believe in the possibility of such retaliation. 
Some years since the Americans thought that Canada might 
shine in the Union firmament as a new star ; but that delu- 
sion is, I think, over. Such annexation, if ever made, must 
have been made not only against the arms of England, but 
must also have been made in accordance with the wishes of 
the people so annexed. It was then believed that the Ca- 
nadians were not averse to such a change, and there may 
possibly have then been among them the remnant of such 
a wish. There is certainly no such desire now, not even a 
remnant of such a desire ; and the truth on this matter is, 
I think, generally acknowledged. The feeling in Canada 
is one of strong aversion to the United States government 
and of predilection for self-government under the English 
Crown. A faineant governor and the prestige of British 
power is now the political aspiration of the Canadians in 
general-; and I think that this is understood in the States. 
Moreover, the States have a job of work on hand which, as 
they themselves are well aware, is taxing all their energies. 
Such being the case, I do not think that England needs to 
fear any invasion of Canada authorized by the States gov- 

This feeling of a grievance on the part of the States was 
a manifest absurdity. The new reinforcement of the gar- 
risons in Canada did not, when I was in Canada, amount, 
as I believe, to more than 2000 men. But had it amounted 
to 20,000, the States would have had no just ground for 
complaint. Of all nationalities that in modern days have 
risen to power, they, above all others, have shown that they 
would do what they liked with their own, indifferent to for- 
eign counsels and deaf to foreign remonstrance. " Do you 
go your way, and let us go ours. We will trouble you with 
no question, nor do you trouble us." Such has been their 
national policy, and it has obtained for them great respect. 
They have resisted the temptation of putting their fingers 
into the caldron of foreign policy ; and foreign politicians, 
acknowledging their reserve in this respect, have not been 



offended at the bristles with whicli their Noli me tangere 
has been proclaimed. Their intelligence has been appre- 
ciated, and their conduct has been respected. But if this 
has been their line of policy, they must be entirely out of 
court in raising any question as to the position of British 
troops on British soil. 

"It shows us that you doubt us," an American says, with 
an air of injured honor — or did say, before that Trent affair. 
"And it is done to express sympathy with the South. The 
Southerners understand it, and we understand it also. We 
know where your hearts are — nay, your very souls. They 
are among the slave-begotten cotton bales of the rebel 
South." Then comes the whole of the long argument in 
which it seems so easy to an Englishman to prove that 
England, in the whole of this sad matter, has been true and 
loyal to her friend. She could not interfere when the hus- 
*band and wife would quarrel. She could only grieve, and 
wish that things might come right and smooth for both 
parties. But the argument, though so easy, is never 

It seems to me foolish in an American to quarrel with 
England for sending soldiers to Canada ; but I cannot say 
that I thought it was well done to send them at the begin- 
ning of the war. The English government did not, I pre- 
sume, take this step with reference to any possible invasion 
of Canada by the government of the States. We are for- 
tifying Portsmouth, and Portland, and Plymouth, because 
we would fain be safe against the French army acting under 
a French Emperor. But we sent 2000 troops to Canada, 
if I understand the matter rightly, to guard our provinces 
against the filibustering energies of a mass of unemployed 
American soldiers, when those soldiers should come to be 
disbanded. When this war shall be over — a war during 
which not much, if any, under a million of American citi- 
zens will have been under arms — it will not be easy for all 
who survive to return to their old homes and old occupa- 
tions. Nor does a disbanded soldier always make a good 
husbandman, notwithstanding the great examples of Cin- 
cinnatus and Bird-o'-freedom Sawin. It may be that a 
considerable amount of filibustering energy will be afloat, 
and that the then government of those who neighbor us in 
Canada will have other matters in hand more important to 
them than the controlling of these unruly spirits. That, as 




I take it, was the evil against wliicli we of Great Britain 
and of Canada desired to guard ourselves. 

But I doubt whether 2000 or 10,000 British soldiers 
would be any effective guard against such inroads, and I 
doubt more strongly whether any such external guarding 
will be necessary. If the Canadians were prepared to fra- 
ternize with filibusters from the States, neither three nor ten 
thousand soldiers would avail against such a feeling over a 
frontier stretching from the State of Maine to the shores 
of Lake Huron and Lake Erie. If such a feeling did ex- 
ist — if the Canadians wished the change — in God's name 
let them go. It is for their sakes, and not for our own, that 
we would have them bound to us. But the Canadians are 
averse to such a change with a degree of feeling that 
amounts to national intensity. Their sympathies are with 
the Southern States, not because they care for cotton, not 
because they are anti-abolitionists, not because they admire 
the hearty pluck of those who are endeavoring to work out 
for themselves a new revolution. They sympathize with the 
South from strong dislike to the aggression, the braggado- 
cio, and the insolence they have felt upon their own bor- 
ders. They dislii^e Mr. Seward's weak and vulgar joke with 
the Duke of Newcastle. They dislike Mr. Everett's flat- 
tering hints to his countrymen as to the one nation that is 
to occupy the whole continent. They dislike the Monroe 
doctrine. They wonder at the meekness with whicli England 
has endured the vauntings of the Northern States, and are 
endued with no such meekness of their own. They would, 
I believe, be well prepared to meet and give an account of 
any filibusters who might visit them ; and I am not sure 
that it is wisely done on our part to show any intention of 
taking the work out of their hands. 

But I am led to this opinion in no degree by a feeling 
tliat Great Britain ^ought to grudge the cost of the soldiers. 
If Canada will be safer with them, in Heaven's name let 
her have them. It has been argued in many places, not 
only with regard to Canada, but as to all our self-governed 
colonies, that military service should not be given at British 
expense and with British men to any colony which has its 
own representative government and which levies its own 
taxes. "While* Great Britain absolutely held the reins of 
government, and did as it pleased with the affairs of its 
dependencies," such politicians say, " it was just and right 



that she should pay the bill. As long as her government 
of a colony was paternal, so long was it right that the 
mother country should put herself in the place of a father, 
and enjoy a father's undoubted prerogative of putting his 
hand into his breeches pocket to provide for all the wants 
of his child. But when the adult son set up for himself in 
business — having received education from the parent, and 
having had his apprentice fees duly paid — then that son 
should settle his own bills, and look no longer to the pater- 
nal pocket.*' Such is the law of the world all over, from 
little birds, whose young fly away when fledged, upward to 
men and nations. Let the father work for the child while 
he is a child; but when the child has become a man, let him 
lean no longer on his father's staff. 

The argument is, I think, very good ; but it proves not 
that we are relieved from the necessity of assisting our col- 
onies with payments made out of British taxes, but that we 
are still bound to give such assistance, and that we shall 
continue to be so bound as long as we allow these colonies 
to adhere to us or as they allow us to adhere to them. In 
fact, the young bird is not yet fully fledged. That illus- 
tration of the father and the child is a just one, but in order 
to make it just it should be followed throughout. When 
the son is in fact established on his own bottom, then the 
father expects that he will live without assistance. But 
when the son does so live, he is freed from all paternal con- 
trol. The father, while he expects to be obeyed, continues 
to fill the paternal office of paymaster — of paymaster, at 
any rate, to some extent. And so, I think, it must be with 
our colonies. The Canadas at present are not independent, 
and have not political power of their own apart from the 
political power of Great Britain. England has declared 
herself neutral as regards the Northern and Southern States, 
and by that neutrality the Canadas are bound ; and yet the 
Canadas were not consulted in the matter. Should Eng- 
land go to war with France, Canada must close her ports 
against French vessels. If England chooses to send her 
troops to Canadian barracks, Canada cannot refuse to ac- 
cept them. If England should send to Canada an unpop- 
ular governor, Canada has no power to reject his services. 
As long as Canada is a colony so called, she cannot be in- 
dependent, and should not be expected to walk alone. It 
is exactly the same with the colonies of Australia, with New 



Zealand, with the Cape of Good Hope, and with Jamaica. 
While England enjoys the prestige of her colonies, while 
she boasts that such large and now populous territories are 
her dependencies, she must and should be content to pay 
some portion of the bill. Surely it is absurd on our part 
to quarrel with Caifre warfare, with New Zealand fighting, 
and the rest of it. Such complaints remind one of an an- 
cient pa^er familias who insists on having his children and 
his grandchildren under the old paternal roof, and then 
grumbles because the butcher's bill is high. Those who will 
keep large households and bountiful tables should not be 
afraid of facing the butcher's bill or unhappy at the tonnage 
of the coal. It is a grand thing, that power of keeping a 
large table ; but it ceases to be grand when the items heaped 
upon it cause inward groans and outward moodiness. 

Why should the colonies remain true to us as children 
are true to their parents, if we grudge them the assistance 
which is due to a child ? They raise their own taxes, it is 
said, and, administer them. True ; and it is well that the 
growing son should do something for himself. While the 
father does all for him, the son's labor belongs to the father. 
Then comes a middle state in which the son does much for 
himself, but not all. In that middle state now stand our 
prosperous colonies. Then comes the time when the son 
shall stand alone by his own strength; and to that period 
of manly, self-respected strength let us all hope that those 
colonies are advancing. It is very hard for a mother coun- 
try to know when such a time has come ; and hard also for 
the child-colony to recognize justly the period of its own 
maturity. Whether or no such severance may ever take 
place without a quarrel, without weakness on one side and 
pride on the other, is a problem in the world's history yet 
to be solved. The most successful child that ever yet has 
gone off from a successful parent, and taken its own path 
into the world, is without doubt the nation of the United 
States. Their present troubles are the result and the proofs 
of their success. The people that were too great to be 
dependent on any nation have now spread till they are them- 
selves too great for a single nationality. No one now 
thinks that that daughter should have remained longer sub- 
ject to her mother. But the severance was not made in 
amity, and the shrill notes of the old family quarrel are 
still sometimes heard across the waters. 



From all this the question arises whether that problem 
may ever be solved with reference to the Canadas. That 
it will never be their destiny to join themselves to the States 
of the Union, I feel fully convinced. In the first place it 
is becoming evident from the present circumstances of the 
Union, if it had never been made evident by history before, 
that different people with different habits, living at long 
distances from each other, cannot well be brought together 
on equal terms under one government. That noble ambi- 
tion of the Americans that all the continent north of the 
isthmus should be united under one flag, has already been 
thrown from its saddle. The J^orth and South are virtu- 
ally separated, and the day will come in which the West 
also will secede. As population increases and trades arise 
peculiar to those different climates, the interests of the peo- 
ple will differ, and a new secession will take place beneficial 
alike to both parties. If this be so, if even there be any 
tendency this way, it affords the strongest argument against 
the probability of any future annexation of the Canadas. 
And then, in the second place, the feeling of Canada is not 
American, but British. If ever she be separated from 
Great Britain, she will be separated as the States were sep- 
arated. She will desire to stand alone, and to enter her-x 
self as one among the nations of the earth. 

She will desire to stand alone; alone, that is without 
dependence either on England or on the States. But she 
is so circumstanced geographically that she can never stand 
alone without amalgamation with our other North Ameri- 
can provinces. She has an outlet to the sea at the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence, but it is only a summer outlet. Her winter 
outlet is by railway through the States, and no other winter 
outlet is possible for her except through the sister prov- 
inces. Before Canada can be nationally great, the line of 
railway which now runs for some hundred miles below 
Quebec to Riviere du Loup must be continued on through 
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to the port of Halifax. 

When I was in Canada I heard the question discussed of 
a federal government between the provinces of the two 
Canadas, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. To these 
were added, or not added, according to the opinion of 
those who spoke, the smaller outlying colonies of Newfound- 
land and Prince Edward's Island. If a scheme for such a 
government were projected in Downing Street, all would 



no doubt be included, and a clean sweep would be made 
without difficulty. But the project as made in the colonies 
appears in different guises, as it comes either from Canada 
or from one of the other provinces. The Canadian idea 
would be that the two Canadas should form two States of 
such a confederation, and the other provinces a third State. 
But this slight participation in power would hardly suit the 
views of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In speaking 
of such a federal government as this, I shall of course be 
understood as meaning a confederation acting in connection 
with a British governor, and dependent upon Great Britain 
as far as the different colonies are now dependent. 

I cannot but think that such a confederation might be 
formed with great advantage to all the colonies and to 
Great Britain. At present the Canadas are in effect al- 
most more distant from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 
than they are from England. The Intercourse between 
them is very slight — so slight that it may almost be said 
that there is no intercourse. A few men of science or of 
political importance may from time to time make their way 
from one colony into the other, but even this is not com- 
mon. Beyond that they seldom see each other. Though 
New Brunswick borders both with Lower Canada and with 
Nova Scotia, thus making one whole of the three colonies, 
there is neither railroad nor stage conveyance running from 
one to the other. And yet their interests should be simi- 
lar. From geographical position their modes of life must 
be alike, and a close conjunction between them is essentially 
necessary to give British North America any pohtical im- 
portance in the world. There can be no such conjunction, 
no amalgamation of interests, until a railway shall have 
been made joining the Canada Grand Trunk Line with the 
two outlying colonies. Upper Canada can feed all Eng- 
land with wheat, and could do so without any aid of rail- 
way through the States, if a railway were made from Que- 
bec to Halifax. But then comes the question of the cost. 
The Canada Grand Trunk is at the present moment at the 
lowest ebb of commercial misfortune, and with such a fact 
patent to the world, what company will come forward with 
funds for making four or five hundred miles of railway, 
through a district of which one-half is not yet prepared for 
population? It would be, I imagine, out of the question 
that such a speculation should for many years give any fair 


commercial interest on the money to be expended. But 
nevertheless to the colonies — that is, to the enormous re- 
gions of British North America— such a railroad would be 
invaluable. Under such circumstances it is for the Home 
Government and the colonies between them to see how 
such a measure may be carried out. As a national expend- 
iture, to be defrayed in the course of years by the terri- 
tories interested, the sum of money required would be very 

But how would this affect England ? And how would 
England be affected by a union of the British North Amer- 
ican colonies under one federal government ? Before this 
question can be answered, he who prepares to answer it 
must consider what interest England has in her colonies, 
and for what purpose she holds them. Does she hold them 
for profit, or for glory, or for power; or does she hold them 
in order that she may carry out the duty which has devolved 
upon her of extending civilization, freedom, and well-being 
through the new uprising nations of the world ? Does she 
hold them, in fact, for her own benefit, or does she hold 
them for theirs ? I know nothing of the ethics of the 
Colonial Office, and not much perhaps of those of the 
House of Commons ; but looking at what Great Britain 
has hitherto done in the way of colonization, I cannot but 
think that the national ambition looks to the welfare of the 
colonists, and not to home aggrandizement. That the two 
may run together is most probable. Indeed, there can be 
no glory to a people so great or so readily recognized by 
mankind at large as that of spreading civilization from 
east to west and from north to south. But the one object 
should be the prosperity of the colonists, and not profit, 
nor glory, nor even power, to the parent country. 

There is no virtue of which more has been said and sung 
than patriotism, and none which, when pure and true, has 
led to finer results. DuJce et decorum est pro patria mori. 
To live for one's country also is a very beautiful and proper 
thing. But if we examine closely much patriotism, that is 
so called, we shall find it going hand in hand with a good 
deal that is selfish, and with not a little that is devilish. 
It was some fine fury of patriotic feeling which enabled the 
national poet to put into the mouth of every Englishman 
that horrible prayer with regard to our enemies which we 
sing when we wish to do honor to our sovereign. It did 



not seem to him that it might be well to pray that their 
hearts should be softened, and our own hearts softened also. 
Jfational success was all that a patriotic poet could desire, 
and therefore in our national hymn have we gone on implor- 
ing the Lord to arise and scatter our enemies; to confound 
their politics, whether they be good or ill ; and to expose 
their knavish tricks — such knavish tricks being taken for 
granted. And then, with a steady confidence, we used to 
declare how certain we were that we should achieve all that 
was desirable, not exactly by trusting to our prayer to 
heaven, but by relying almost exclusively on George the 
Third or George the Fourth. Now I have always thought 
that that was rather a poor patriotism. Luckily for us, our 
national conduct has not squared itself with our national 
anthem. Any patriotism must be poor which desires glory, 
or even profit, for a few at the expense of the many, even 
though the few be brothers and the many aliens. As a rule, 
patriotism is a virtue only because man's aptitude for good 
is so finite that he cannot see and comprehend a wider 
humanity. He can hardly bring himself to understand that 
salvation should be extended to Jew and Gentile alike. The 
word philanthropy has become odious, and I would fain not 
use it; but the thing itself is as much higher than patriot- 
ism as heaven is above the earth. 

A wish that British North America should ever be sev- 
ered from England, or that the Australian colonies should 
ever be so severed, will by many Englishmen be deemed un- 
patriotic. But I think that such severance is to be wished 
if it be the case that the colonies standing alone would be- 
come more prosperous than they are under British rule. 
"We have before us an example in the United States of the 
prosperity which has attended such a rupture of old ties. 
I will not now contest the point with those who say that 
the present moment of an American civil war is ill chosen 
for vaunting that prosperity. There stand the cities which 
the people have built, and their power is attested by the 
world-wide importance of their present contest. And if 
the States have so risen since they left their parent's apron- 
string, why should not British North America rise as high? 
That the time has as yet come for such rising I do not 
think; but that it will soon come I do most heartily hope. 
The making of the railway of which I have spoken, and 
the amalgamation of the provinces would greatly tend to 


such an event. If, therefore, England desires to keep these 
colonics in a state of dependency; if it be more essential 
to her to maintain her own power with regard to them than 
to increase their influence ; if her main object be to keep 
the colonies and not to improve the colonies, then I should 
say that an amalgamation of the Canadas with Nova Sco- 
tia and New Brunswick should not be regarded with favor 
by statesmen in Downing Street. But if, as I would fain 
hope, and do partly believe, such ideas of national power 
as these are now out of vogue with British statesmen, then 
I think that such an amalgamation should receive all the 
support which Downing Street can give it. 

The United States severed themselves from Great Britain 
with a great struggle, and after heart-burnings and blood- 
shed. Whether Great Britain will ever allow any colony 
of hera to depart from out of her nest, to secede and start 
for herself, without any struggle or heart-burnings, with all 
furtherance for such purpose which an old and powerful 
country can give to a new nationality then first taking its 
own place in the world's arena, is a problem yet to be 
solved. There is, I think, no more beautiful sight than that 
of a mother, still in all the glory of womanhood, preparing 
the wedding trousseau for her daughter. The child hither- 
to has been obedient and submissive. She has been one of 
a household in which she has held no command. She has 
sat at table as a child, fitting herself in all things to the 
behests of others. But the day of her power and her glor}^ 
and also of her cares and solicitude, is at hand. She is to 
go forth, and do as she best may in the world under that 
teaching which her old home has given her. The hour of 
separation has come; and the mother, smiling through her 
tears, sends her forth decked with a bounteous hand, and 
furnished with full stores, so that all may be well with her 
as she enters on her new duties. So is it that England 
should send forth her daughters. They should not escape 
from her arms with shrill screams and bleeding wounds, 
with ill-omened words which live so long, though the speak- 
ers of them lie cold in their graves. 

But this sending forth of a child-nation to take its own 
political status in the world has never yet been done by 
Great Britain. I cannot remember that such has ever been 
done by any great power with reference to its dependency ; 
by any power that was powerful enough to keep such de- 




pendency within its grasp. But a man thinking on these 
matters cannot but hope that a time will come when such 
amicable severance may be effected. Great Britain cannot 
think that through all coming ages she is to be the mistress 
of the vast continent of Australia, lying on the other side 
of the globe's surface ; that she is to be the mistress of all 
South Africa, as civilization shall extend northward ; that 
the enormous territories of British North America are to 
be subject forever to a veto from Downing Street. If the 
history of past empires does not teach her that this may 
not be so, at least the history of the United States might 
so teach her. ''But we have learned a lesson from those 
United States," the patriot will argue who dares to hope 
that the glory and extent of the British empire may remain 
unimpaired in saecula saeculorum. ' Since that day we 
have given political rights to our colonies, and have satis- 
fied the political longings of their inhabitants. We do not 
tax their tea and stamps, but leave it to them to tax them- 
selves as they may please." True. But in political aspira- 
tions the giving of an inch has ever created the desire for 
an ell. If the Australian colonies even now, with their 
scanty population and still young civilization, chafe against 
imperial interference, will they submit to it when they feel 
within their veins all the full blood of political manhood ? 
What is the cry even of the Canadians — of the Canadians 
who are thoroughly loyal to England ? Send us a faineant 
governor, a King Log, who will not presume to interfere 
with us ; a governor who will spend his money and live like 
a gentleman, and care little or nothing for politics. That 
is the Canadian beau ideal of a governor. They are to 
govern themselves ; and he who comes to them from Eng- 
land is to sit among them as the silent representative of 
England's protection. If that be true — and I do not think 
that any who know the Canadas will deny it — must it not 
be presumed that they will soon also desire a faineant min- 
ister in Downing Street ? Of course they will so desire. 
Men do not become milder in their aspirations for political 
power the more that political power is extended to them. 
Nor would it be well that they should be so humble in their 
desires. Nations devoid of political power have never 
risen high in the world's esteem. Even when they have 
been commercially successful, commerce has not brought to 
them the greatness which it has always given when joined 


with a strong political existence. The Greeks are commer- 
cially rich and active; but "Greece" and " Greek" are by- 
words now for all tliat is mean. Cuba is a colony, and 
putting aside the cities of the States, the Havana is the 
richest town on the other side of the Atlantic, and com- 
mercially the greatest; but the political villainy of Cuba, 
her daily importation of slaves, her breaches of treaty, and 
the bribery of her all but royal governor, are known to all 
men. But Canada is not dishonest ; Canada is no by- 
word for anything evil; Canada eats her own bread in the 
sweat of her brow, and fears a bad word from no man. 
True. But why does New York, Avith its suburbs, boast a 
million of inhabitants, while Montreal has 85,000 ? Why 
has that babe in years, Chicago, 120,000, while Toronto 
has not half the number? I do not say that Montreal and 
Toronto should have gone ahead abreast with New York and 
Chicago. In such races one must be first, and one last. 
But I do say that the Canadian towns will have no equal 
chance till they are actuated by that feeling of political 
independence which has created the growth of the towns in 
the United States. 

I do not think that the time has yet come in which Great 
Britain should desire the Canadians to start for themselves. 
There is the making of that railroad to be effected, and 
something done toward the union of those provinces. Can- 
ada could no more stand alone without New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia, than could those latter colonies without Can- 
ada. But I think it would be well to be prepared for such 
a coming day ; and that it would at any rate be well to 
bring home to ourselves and realize the idea of such seces- 
sion on the part of our colonies, when the time shall have 
come at which such secession may be carried out with profit 
and security to them. Great Britain, should she ever send 
forth her child alone into the world, must of course guar- 
antee her security. Such guarantees are given by treaties; 
and, in the wording of them, it is presumed that such trea- 
ties will last forever. It will be argued that in starting 
British North America as a political power on its own bot- 
tom, we should bind ourself to all the expense of its defense, 
while we should give up all right to any interference in its 
concerns ; and that, from a state of things so unprofitable 
as this, there would be no prospect of a deliverance. But 
such treaties, let them be worded how they will, do not last 



forever. For a time, no doubt, Great Britain would be so 
hampered — if indeed she would feel herself hampered by 
extending her name and prestige to a country bound to her 
by ties such as those which would then exist between her 
and this new nation. Such treaties are not everlasting, 
nor can they be made to last even for ages. Those who 
word them seem to think that powers and dynasties will 
never pass away. But they do pass away, and the balance 
of power will not keep itself fixed forever on the same 
pivot. The time may come — that it may not come soon we 
will all desire — but the time may come when the name and 
prestige of what we call British North America will be as 
serviceable to Great Britain as those of Great Britain are 
now serviceable to her colonies. 

But what shall be the new form of government for the 
new kingdom ? That is a speculation very interesting to a 
politician, though one which to follow out at great length 
in these early days would be rather premature. That it 
should be a kingdom — that the political arrangement should 
be one of which a crowned hereditary king should form a 
part — nineteen out of every twenty Englishmen would de- 
sire ; and, as I fancy, so would also nineteen out of every 
twenty Canadians. A king for the United States, when 
they first established themselves, was impossible. A total 
rupture from the Old World and all its habits was necessary 
for them. The name of a king, or monarch, or sovereign 
had become horrible to their ears. Even to this day they 
have not learned the difference between arbitrary power 
retained in the hand of one man, such as that now held by 
the Emperor over the French, and such hereditary headship 
in the State as that which belongs to the Crown in Great 
Britain. And this was necessary, seeing that their division 
from us was effected by strife, and carried out with war and 
bitter animosities. In those days also there was a remnant, 
though but a small remnant, of the power of tyranny left 
within the scope of the British Crown. That small remnant 
has been removed ; and to me it seems that no form of ex- 
isting government, no form of government that ever did 
exist, gives or has given so large a measure of individual 
freedom to all who live under it as a constitutional mon- 
archy in which the Crown is divested of direct political 

I will venture then to suggest a king for this new nation ; 



and, seeing that we are rich in princes, there need be no 
difiQculty in the selection. Would it not be beautiful to see 
a new nation established under such auspices, and to estab- 
lish a people to whom their independence had been given, 
to whom it had been freely surrendered as soon as they were 
capable of holding the position assigned to them ! 



Op all the sights on this earth of ours which tourists 
travel to see — at least of all those which I have seen — I am 
inclined to give the palm to the Falls of Niagara. In the 
catalogue of such sights I intend to include all buildings, 
pictures, statues, and wonders of art made by men's hands, 
and also all beauties of nature prepared by the Creator for 
the delight of his creatures. This is a long word; but, as 
far as my taste and judgment go, it is justified. I know no 
other one thing so beautiful, so glorious, and so powerful. 
I would not by this be understood as saying that a traveler 
wishing to do the best with his time should first of all places 
seek Niagara. In visiting Florence he may learn almost 
all that modern art can teach. At Rome he will be brought 
to understand the cold hearts, correct eyes, and cruel ambi- 
tion of the old Latin race. In Switzerland he will surround 
himself with a flood of grandeur and loveliness, and fill 
himself, if he be capable of such filling, with a flood of 
romance. The tropics will unfold to him all that vegetation 
in its greatest richness can produce. In Paris he will find 
the supreme of polish, the ne plus ultra of varnish accord- 
ing to the world's capability of varnishing. And in Lon- 
don he will find the supreme of power, the ne plus ultra of 
work according to the world's capability of working. Any 
one of such journeys may be more valuable to a man — nay, 
any one such journey must be more valuable to a man — than 
a visit to Niagara. At Niagara there is that fall of waters 




alone. But that fall is more graceful tlian Giotto's tower, 
more noble than the Apollo. The peaks of the Alps are 
not so astounding in their solitude. The valleys of the 
Blue Mountains in Jamaica are less green. The finished 
glaze of life in Paris is less invariable ; and the full tide of 
trade round the Bank of England is not so inexorably pow- 

I came across an artist at Niagara who was attempting 
to draw the spray of the waters. "You have a difficult 
subject," said I. "All subjects are difficult," he replied, 
"to a man who desires to do well." " But yours, I fear, is 
impossible," I said. "You have no right to say so till I 
have finished my picture," he replied. I acknowledged the 
justice of his rebuke, regretted that I could not remain till 
the completion of his work should enable me to revoke my 
words, and passed on. Then I began to reflect whether I 
did not intend to try a task as difficult in describing the 
falls, and whether I felt any of that proud self-confidence 
which kept him happy at any rate while his task was in 
hand. I will not say that it is as difficult to describe aright 
that rush of waters as it is to paint it well. But I doubt 
whether it is not quite as difficult to write a description that 
shall interest the reader as it is to paint a picture of them 
that shall be pleasant to the beholder. My friend the artist 
was at any rate not afraid to make the attempt, and I also 
will try my hand. 

That the waters of Lake Erie have come down in their 
courses from the broad basins of Lake Michigan, Lake Su- 
perior, and Lake Huron ; that these waters fall into Lake 
Ontario by the short and rapid river of Niagara ; and that 
the falls of Niagara are made by a sudden break in the level 
of this rapid river, is probably known to all who will read this 
book. All the waters of these huge northern inland seas 
run over that breach in the rocky bottom of the stream ; 
and thence it comes tliat the flow is unceasing in its gran- 
deur, and that no eye can perceive a difference in the weight, 
or sound, or violence of the fall, whether it be visited in the 
drought of autumn, amid the storms of winter, or after the 
melting of the upper worlds of ice in the days of the early 
summer. How many cataracts does the habitual tourist 
visit at which the waters fail him ! But at Niagara the 
waters never fail. There it thunders over its ledge in a 
volume that never ceases and is never diminished — as it 



has done from times previous to the life of man, and as it 
will do till tens of thousands of years shall see the rocky 
bed of the river worn away back to the upper lake. 

This stream divides Canada from the States — the western 
or farthermost bank belonging to the British Crown, and 
the eastern or nearer bank being in the State of New York. 
In visiting Niagara, it always becomes a question on which 
side the visitor shall take up his quarters. On the Canada 
side there is no town ; but there is a large hotel beautifully 
placed immediately opposite to the falls, and this is gener- 
ally thought to be the best locality for tourists. In the 
State of Xew York is the town called Niagara Falls ; and 
here there are two large hotels, which, as to their immediate 
site, are not so well placed as that in Canada. I first vis- 
ited Niagara some three years since. I stayed then at the 
Clifton House, on the Canada side, and have since sworn 
by that position. But the Clifton House was closed for the 
season when I was last there, and on that account we went 
to the Cataract House, in the town on the other side. I 
now think that I should set up my staff on the American 
side, if I went again. My advice on the subject to any 
party starting for Niagara would depend upon their habits 
or on their nationality. I would send Americans to the 
Canadian side, because they dislike walking ; but English 
people I would locate on the American side, seeing that 
they are generally accustomed to the frequent use of their 
own legs. The two sides are not very easily approached 
one from the other. Immediately below the falls there is a 
ferry, which may be traversed at the expense of a shilling ; 
but the labor of getting up and down from the ferry is con- 
siderable, and the passage becomes wearisome. There is 
also a bridge ; but it is two miles down the river, making a 
walk or drive of four miles necessary, and the toll for pass- 
ing is four shillings, or a dollar, in a carriage, and one shil- 
ling on foot. As the greater variety of prospect can be 
had on the American side, as the island between the two 
falls is approachable from the American side and not from 
the Canadian, and as it is in this island that visitors will best 
love to linger, and learn to measure in their minds the vast 
triumph of waters before them, I recommend such of my 
readers as can trust a little — it need be but a little — to their 
own legs to select their hotel at Niagara Falls town. 

It has been said that it matters much from what point 



the falls are first seen, but to this I demur. It matters, I 
think, very little, or not at all. Let the visitor first see it 
all, and learn the whereabouts of every point, so as to un- 
derstand his own position and that of the waters; and then, 
having done that in the way of business, let him proceed to 
enjoyment. I doubt whether it be not the best to do this 
with all sight-seeing. I am quite sure that it is the way in 
which acquaintance may be best and most pleasantly made 
with a new picture. 

The falls, as I have said, are made by a sudden breach in 
the level of the river. All cataracts are, I presume, made 
by such breaches ; but generally the waters do not fall pre- 
cipitously as they do at Niagara, and never elsewhere, as far 
as the world yet knows, has a breach so sudden been made 
in a river carrying in its channel such or any approach to 
such a body of water. Up above the falls for more than a 
mile the waters leap and burst over rapids, as though con- 
scious of the destiny that awaits them. Here the river is 
very broad and comparatively shallow ; but from shore to 
shore it frets itself into little torrents, and begins to assume 
the majesty of its power. Looking at it even here, in the 
expanse which forms itself over the greater fall, one feels 
sure that no strongest swimmer could have a chance of 
saving himself if fate had cast him in even among those 
petty whirlpools. The waters, though so broken in their 
descent, are deliciously green. This color, as seen early in 
the morning or just as the sun has set, is so bright as to 
give to the place one of its chiefest charms. 

This will be best seen from the farther end of the island 
— Goat Island as it is called — which, -as the reader will un- 
derstand, divides the river immediately above the falls. In- 
deed, the island is a part of that precipitously-broken ledge 
over which the river tumbles, and no doubt in process of 
time will be worn away and covered with water. The time, 
however, will be very long. In the mean while, it is per- 
haps a mile round, and is covered thickly with timber. At 
the upper end of the island the waters are divided, and, 
coming down in two courses each over its own rapids, form 
two separate falls. The bridge by which the island is en- 
tered is a hundred yards or more above the smaller fall. 
The waters here have been turned by the island, and make 
their leap into the body of the river below at a right angle 
with it — about two hundred yards below the greater fall. 



Taken alone, this smaller cataract would, I imagine, be the 
heaviest fall of water known; but taken in conjunction with 
the other, it is terribly shorn of its majesty. The waters 
here are not green as they are at the larger cataract ; and, 
though the ledge has been hollowed and bowed by them so 
as to form a curve, that curve does not deepen itself into a 
vast abyss as it does at the horseshoe up above. This 
smaller fall is again divided ; and the visitor, passing down 
a flight of steps and over a frail wooden bridge, finds him- 
self on a smaller island in the midst of it. 

But we will go at once on to the glory, and the thunder, 
and the majesty, and the wrath of that upper hell of waters. 
We are still, let the reader remember, on Goat Island — still 
in the States — and on what is called the American side of 
the main body of the river. Advancing beyond the path 
leading down to the lesser fall, we come to that point of the 
island at which the waters of the main river begin to descend. 
From hence across to the Canadian side the cataract con- 
tinues itself in one unabated line. But the line is very far 
from being direct or straight. After stretching for some 
little way from the shore to a point in the river which is 
reached by a wooden bridge at the end of which stands a 
tower upon the rock, — after stretching to this, the line of 
the ledge bends inward against the flood — in, and in, and 
in — till one is led to think that the depth of that horseshoe 
is immeasurable. It has been cut with no stinting hand. 
A monstrous cantle has been worn back out of the center 
of the rock, so that the fury of the waters converges ; and 
the spectator, as he gazes into the hollow with wishful eyes, 
fancies that he can hardly trace out the center of the abyss. 

Go down to the end of that wooden bridge, seat yourself 
on the rail, and there sit till all the outer world is lost to you. 
There is no grander spot about Niagara than this. The 
waters are absolutely around you. If you have that power 
of eye-contrio which is so necessary to the full enjoyment of 
scenery, you will see nothing but the water. You will cer- 
tainly hear nothing else ; and the sound, I beg you to re- 
member, is not an ear-cracking, agonizing crash and clang 
of noises, but is melodious and soft withal, though loud as 
thunder. It fills your ears, and, as it were, envelops them, 
but at the same time you can speak to your neighbor with- 
out an effort. But at this place, and in these moments, the 
less of speaking, I should say, the better. There is no 



grander spot than this. Here, seated on the rail of the 
bridge, you will not see the whole depth of the fall. In 
looking at the grandest works of nature, and of art too, I 
fancy it is never well to see all. There should be something 
left to the imagination, and much should be half concealed 
in mystery. The greatest charm of a mountain range is 
the wild feeling that there must be strange, unknown, deso- 
late worlds in those far-off valleys beyond. And so here, 
at Niagara, that converging rush of waters may fall down, 
down at once into a hell of rivers, for what the eye can see. 
It is glorious to watch them in their first curve over the 
rocks. They come green as a bank of emeralds, but with 
a fitful, flying color, as though conscious that in one mo- 
ment more they would be dashed into spray and rise into air, 
pale as driven snow. The vapor rises high into the air, and 
is gathered there, visible always as a permanent white cloud 
over the cataract ; but the bulk of the spray which fills the 
lower hollow of that horseshoe is like a tumult of snow. 
This you will not fully see from your seat on the rail. The 
head of it rises ever and anon out of that caldron below, 
but the caldron itself will be invisible. It is ever so far 
down — far as your own imagination can sink it. But your 
eyes will rest full upon the curve of the waters. The shape 
you will be looking at is that of a horseshoe, but of a 
horseshoe miraculously deep from toe to heel ; and this 
depth becomes greater as you sit there. That which at 
first was only great and beautiful becomes gigantic and 
sublime, till the mind is at loss to find an epithet for its 
own use. To realize Niagara, you must sit there till you 
see nothing else than that which you have come to see. 
You will hear nothing else, and think of nothing else. At 
length you will be at one with the tumbling river before 
you. You will find yourself among the waters as though 
you belonged to them. The cool, liquid green will run 
through your veins, and the voice of the cataract will be 
the expression of your own heart. You will fall as the 
bright waters fall, rushing down into your new world with 
no hesitation and with no dismay ; and you will rise again 
as the spray rises, bright, beautiful, and pure. Then you 
will flow away in your course to the uncompassed, distant, 
and eternal ocean. 

When this state has been reached and has passed away, 
you may get off your rail and mount the tower. I do not 


quite approve of tliat tower, seeing that it has about it a 
gingerbread air, and reminds one of those well-arranged 
scenes of romance in which one is told that on the left you 
turn to the lady's bower, price sixpence ; and on the right 
ascend to the knight's bed, price sixpence more, with a view 
of the hermit's tomb thrown in. But nevertheless the tower 
is worth mounting, and no money is charged for the use of 
it. It is not very high, and there is a balcony at the top 
on which some half dozen persons may stand at ease. Here 
the mystery is lost, but the whole fall is seen. It is not 
even at this spot brought so fully before your eye, made to 
show itself in so complete and entire a shape, as it will do 
when you come to stand near to it on the opposite or Ca- 
nadian shore. But I think that it shows itself more beauti- 
fully. And the form of the cataract is such that here, on 
Goat Island, on the American side, no spray will reach you, 
although you are absolutely over the waters. But on the 
Canadian side, the road as it approaches the fall is wet and 
rotten with spray, and you, as you stand close upon the 
edge, will be wet also. The rainbows as they are seen 
through the rising cloud — for the sun's rays as seen through 
these waters show themselves in a bow, as they do when 
seen through rain — are pretty enough, and are greatly 
loved. For myself, I do not care for this prettiness at 
Niagara. It is there, but I forget it, and do not mind how 
soon it is forgotten. 

But we are still on the tower ; and here I must declare 
that though I forgive the tower, I cannot forgive the hor- 
rid obelisk which has latterly been built opposite to it, on 
the Canadian side, up above the fall; built apparently — for 
I did not go to it — with some camera-obscura intention for 
which the projector deserves to be put in Coventry by all 
good Christian men and women. At such a place as Niag- 
ara tasteless buildings, run up in wrong places with a view 
to money making, are perhaps necessary evils. It may be that 
they are not evils at all ; that they give more pleasure than 
pain, seeing that they tend to the enjoyment of the multi- 
tude. But there are edifices of this description which cry 
aloud to the gods by the force of their own ugliness and 
malposition. As to such, it may be said that there should 
somewhere exist a power capable of crushing them in their 
birth. This new obelisk, or picture-building at Niagara, 
is one of such. 



And now we will cross the water, and with this object 
will return by the bridge out of Goat Island, on the main 
land of the American side. But as we do so, let me say 
that one of the great charms of x^iagara consists in this: 
that over and above that one great object of wonder and 
beauty, there is so much little loveliness — loveliness especi- 
ally of water I mean. There are little rivulets running here 
and there over little falls, with pendent boughs above them, 
and stones shining under their shallow depths. As the vis- 
itor stands and looks through the trees, the rapids glitter 
before him, and then hide themselves behind islands. They 
glitter and sparkle in far distances under the bright foliage, 
till the remembrance is lost, and one knows not which way 
they run. And then the river below, with its whirlpool, — 
but we shall come to that by-and-by, and to the mad voyage 
which was made down the rapids by that mad captain who 
ran the gantlet of the waters at the risk of his own life, 
with fifty to one against him, in order that he might save 
another man's property from the sheriff. 

The readiest way across to Canada is by the ferry ; and 
on the American side this is very pleasantly done. You 
go into a little house, pay twenty cents, take a seat on a 
wooden car of wonderful shape, and on the touch of a 
spring find yourself traveling down an inclined plane of 
terrible declivity, and at a very fast rate. You catch a 
glance of the river below you, and recognize the fact that 
if the rope by which you are held should break, you would 
go down at a very fast rate indeed, and find your final rest- 
ing-place in the river. As I have gone down some dozen 
times, and have come to no such grief, I will not presume 
that you will be less lucky. Below there is a boat gener- 
ally ready. If it be not there, the place is not chosen amiss 
for a rest of ten minutes, for the lesser fall is close at hand, 
and the larger one is in full view. Looking at the rapidity 
of the river, you will think that the passage must be dan- 
gerous and difficult. But no accidents ever happen, and 
the lad who takes you over seems to do it with sufficient 
ease. The walk up the hill on the other side is another 
thing. It is very steep, and for those who have not good 
locomotive power of their own, will be found to be disa- 
greeable. In the full season, however, carriages are gener- 
ally waiting there. In so short a distance I have always 
been ashamed to trust to other legs than my own, but I 



have observed that Americans are always dragged up. I 
have seen single young men of from eighteen to twenty-five, 
from whose outward appearance no story of idle, luxurious 
life can be read, carried about alone in carriages over dis- 
tances which would be counted as nothing by any healthy 
English lady of fifty. None but the old invalids should 
require the assistance of carriages in seeing Niagara, but 
the trade in carriages is to all appearance the most brisk 
trade there. 

Having mounted the hill on the Canada side, you will 
walk on toward the falls. As I have said before, you will 
from this side look directly into the full circle of the upper 
cataract, while you will have before you, at your left hand, the 
whole expanse of the lesser fall. For those who desire to 
see all at a glance, who wish to comprise the whole with 
their eyes, and to leave nothing to be guessed, nothing to 
be surmised, this no doubt is the best point of view. 

You will be covered with spray as you walk up to the 
ledge of rocks, but I do not think that the spray will hurt 
you. If a man gets wet through going to his daily work, 
cold, catarrh, cough, and all their attendant evils, may be 
expected ; but these maladies usually spare the tourist. 
Change of air, plenty of air, excellence of air, and in- 
creased exercise, make these things powerless. I should 
therefore bid you disregard the spray. If, however, you are 
yourself of a different opinion, you may hire a suit of oil- 
cloth clothes for, I believe, a quarter of a dollar. They 
are nasty of course, and have this further disadvantage, that 
you become much more wet having them on than you would 
be without them. 

Here, on this side, you walk on to the very edge of the 
cataract, and, if your tread be steady and your legs firm, 
you dip your foot into the water exactly at the spot where 
the thin outside margin of the current reaches the rocky 
edge and jumps to join the mass of the fall. The bed of 
white foam beneath is certainly seen better here than else- 
where, and the green curve of the water is as bright here 
as when seen from the wooden rail across. But neverthe- 
less I say again that that wooden rail is the one point from 
whence Niagara may be best seen aright. 

Close to the cataract, exactly at the spot from whence in 
former days the Table Rock used to project from the land 
over the boiling caldron below, there is now a shaft, down 




which you will descend to the level of the river, and pass 
between the rock and the torrent. This Table Kock broke 
away from the clilf and fell, as up the whole course of the 
river the seceding rocks have split and fallen from time to 
time through countless years, and will continue to do till 
the bed of the upper lake is reached. You will descend 
this shaft, taking to yourself or not taking to yourself a 
suit of oil-clothes as you may think best. I have gone 
with and without the suit, and again recommend that they be 
left behind. I am inclined to think that the ordinary pay- 
ment should be made for their use, as otherwise it will ap- 
pear to those whose trade it is to prepare them that you are 
injuring them in their vested rights. 

Some three years since I visited Niagara on my way back 
to England from Bermuda, and in a volume of travels 
which I then published I endeavored to explain the impres- 
sion made upon me by this passage between the rock and 
the waterfall. An author should not quote himself; but as 
I feel myself bound, in writing a chapter specially about 
Niagara, to give some account of this strange position, I 
will venture to repeat my own words. 

In the spot to which I allude the visitor stands on a broad, 
safe path, made of shingles, between the rock over which 
the water rushes and the rushing water. He will go in so 
far that the spray, rising back from the bed of the torrent, 
does not incommode him. With this exception, the farther 
he can go in the better; but circumstances will clearly 
show him the spot to which he should advance. Unless the 
water be driven in by a very strong wind, five yards make 
the difference between a comparatively dry coat and an ab- 
solutely wet one. And then let him stand with his back to 
the entrance, thus hiding the last glimmer of the expiring 
day. So standing, he will look up among the falling wa- 
ters, or down into the deep, misty pit, from which they re- 
ascend in almost as palpable a bulk. The rock will be at 
his right hand, high and hard, and dark and straight, like 
the wall of some huge cavern, such as children enter in 
their dreams. For the first five minutes he will be looking 
but at the waters of a cataract — at the waters, indeed, of 
such a cataract as we know no other, and at their interior 
curves which elsewhere we cannot see. But by-and-by all 
this will change. He will no longer be on a shingly path 
beneath a waterfall; but that feeling of a cavern wall will 



grow upon him, of a cavern deep, below roaring seas, in 
which the waves are there, though they do not enter in upon 
him ; or rather, not the waves, but the very bowels of the 
ocean. He will feel as though the floods surrounded him, 
coming and going with their wild sounds, and he will hardly 
recognize that though among them he is not in them. And 
they, as they fall with a continual roar, not hurting the ear, 
but musical withal, will seem to move as the vast ocean 
waters may perhaps move in their internal currents. He 
will lose the sense of one continued descent, and think that 
they are passing round him in their appointed courses. The 
broken spray that rises from the depths below, rises so 
strongly, so palpably, so rapidly that the motion in every 
direction will seem equal. And, as he looks on, strange 
colors will show themselves through the mist ; the shades 
of gray will become green or blue, with ever and anon a 
flash of white ; and then, when some gust of wind blows in 
with greater violence, the sea-girt cavern will become all 
dark and black. Oh, my friend, let there be no one there 
to speak to thee then; no, not even a brother. As you 
stand there speak only to the waters. 

Two miles below the falls the river is crossed by a sus- 
pension bridge of marvelous construction. It affords two 
thoroughfares, one above the other. The lower road is for 
carriages and horses, and the upper one bears a railway be- 
longing to the Great 'Western Canada Line. The view 
from hence, both up and down the river, is very beautiful, 
for the bridge is built immediately over the first of a series 
of rapids. One mile below the bridge these rapids end in 
a broad basin called the whirlpool, and, issuing out of this, 
the current turns to the right through a narrow channel 
overhung by cliffs and trees, and then makes its way down 
to Lake Ontario with comparative tranquillity. 

But I will beg you to take notice of those rapids from 
the bridge, and to ask yourself what chance of life vv^ould 
remain to any ship, craft, or boat required by destiny to 
undergo navigation beneath the bridge and down into that 
whirlpool. Heretofore all men would have said that no 
chance of life could remain to so ill-starred a bark. The 
navigation, however, has been effected. But men used to 
the river still say that the chances would be fifty to one 
against any vessel which should attempt to repeat the ex-- 



The story of that wondrous voyage was as follows : A 
small steamer, called the Maid of the Mist, was built upon 
the river, between the falls and the rapids, and was used for 
taking adventurous tourists up amid the spray as near to 
the cataract as was possible. The Maid of the Mist plied 
in this way for a year or two, and was, I believe, much pat- 
ronized during the season. But in the early part of last 
summer an evil time had come. Either the Maid got into 
debt, or her owner had embarked in other and less profita- 
ble speculations. At any rate, he became subject to the 
law, and tidings reached him that the sheriff would seize 
the Maid. On most occasions the sheriff is bound to keep 
such intentions secret, seeing that property is movable, and 
that an insolvent debtor will not always await the officers 
of justice. But with the poor Maid there was no need of 
such secrecy. There was but a mile or so of water on which 
she could ply, and she was forbidden by the nature of her 
properties to make any way upon land. The sherilf 's prey, 
therefore, was easy, and the poor Maid was doomed. 

In any country in the world but America such would 
have been the case ; but an American would steam down 
Phlegethon to save his property from the sheriff — he would 
steam down Phlegethon, or get some one else to do it for 
him. Whether or no, in this case, the captain of the boat 
was the proprietor, or whether, as I was told, he was paid 
for the job, I do not know. But h6 determined to run the 
rapids, and he procured two others to accompany him in 
the risk. He got up his steam, and took the Maid up amid 
the spray according to his custom. Then, suddenly turning 
on his course, he, with one of his companions, fixed himself 
at the wheel, while the other remained at his engine. I 
wish I could look into the mind of that man, and under- 
stand what his thoughts were at that moment — what were 
his thoughts and what his beliefs. As to one of the men, I 
was told that he was carried down not knowing what he 
was about to do ; but I am inclined to believe that all the 
three were joined together in the attempt. 

I was told by a man who saw the boat pass under the 
bridge that she made one long leap down, as she came thither ; 
that her funnel was at once knocked flat on the deck by the 
force of the blow; that the waters covered her from stem 
to stern ; and that then she rose again, and skimmed into 
the whirlpool a mile below. When there she rode with 



comparative ease upon the waters, and took the sharp turn 
round into the river below without a struggle. The feat 
was done, and the Maid was rescued from the sherifl'. It 
is said that she was sold below at the mouth of the river, 
and carried from thence over Lake Ontario, and down the 
St. Lawrence to Quebec. 



From Niagara we determined to proceed Northwest — as 
far to the Northwest as we could go with any reasonable 
hope of finding American citizens in a state of political 
civilization, and perhaps guided also in some measure by 
our hopes as to hotel accommodation. Looking to these 
two matters, we resolved to get across to the Mississippi, 
and to go up that river as far as the town of St. Paul and 
the Falls of St. Anthony, which are some twelve miles 
above the town ; then to descend the river as far as the 
States of Iowa on the west and Illinois on the east ; and to 
return eastward through Chicago and the large cities on 
the southern shores of Lake Erie, from whence we would 
go across to Albany, the capital of New York 'State, and 
down the Hudson to New York, the capital of the Western 
World. For such a journey, in which scenery was one great 
object, we were rather late, as we did not leave Niagara 
till the 10th of October ; but though the winters are ex- 
tremely cold through all this portion of the American con- 
tinent — fifteen, twenty, and even twenty- five degrees below 
zero being an ordinary state of the atmosphere in latitudes 
equal to those of Florence, Nice, and Turin — nevertheless 
the autumns are mild, the noonday being always warm, 
and the colors of the foliage are then in all their glory. I 
was also very anxious to ascertain, if it might be in my 
power to do so, with what spirit or true feeling as to the 
matter the work of recruiting for the now enormous army 
of the States was going on in those remote regions. That 




men should be on fire in Boston and New York, in Phila- 
delphia and along the borders of secession, I conld under- 
stand. I could understand also that they should be on fire 
throughout the cotton, sugar, and rice plantations of the 
South. But I could hardly understand that this political 
fervor should have communicated itself to the far-off farm- 
ers wlfo had thinly spread themselves over the enormous 
wheat-growing districts of the Northwest. St. Paul, the 
capital of Minnesota, is nine hundred miles directly north 
of St. Louis, the most northern point to which slavery ex- 
tends in the Western States of the Union ; and the farming 
lands of Minnesota stretch away again for some hundreds 
of miles north and west of St. Paul. Could it be that those 
scanty and far-off pioneers of agriculture — those frontier 
farmers, who are nearly one-half German and nearly the 
other half Irish, would desert their clearings and ruin their 
chances of progress in the world for distant wars of which 
the causes must, as I thought, be to them unintelligible ? I 
had been told that distance had but lent enchantment to 
the view, and that the war was even more popular in the 
remote and newly-settled States than in those which have 
been longer known as great political bodies. So I resolved 
til at I would go and see. 

It may be as well to explain here that that great political 
Union hitherto called the United States of America may be 
more properly divided into three than into two distinct in- 
terests. In England we have long heard of North and South 
as pitted against each other, and we have always understood 
that the Southern politicians, or Democrats, have prevailed 
over the Northern politicians, or Republicans, because they 
were assisted in their views by Northern men of mark who 
have held Southern principles — that is, by Northern men 
who have been willing to obtain political power by joining 
themselves to the Southern party. That, as far as I can 
understand, has been the general idea in England, and in a 
broad way it has been true. But as years have advanced, 
and as the States have extended themselves westward, a 
third large party has been formed, which sometimes rejoices 
to call itself The Great West; and though, at the present 
time, the West and the North are joined together against 
the South, the interests of the North and West are not, I 
think, more closely interwoven than are those of the West 
and South ; and when the final settlement of this question 



shall be made, there will doubtless be great difficulty in sat- 
isfying the different aspirations and feelings of two great 
free-soil populations. The North, I think, will ultimately 
perceive that it will gain much by the secession of the South ; 
but it will be very difficult to make the West believe that 
secession will suit its views. 

I will attempt, in a rough way, to divide the States, as 
they seem to divide themselves, into these three parties. As 
to the majority of them, there is no difficulty in locating 
them ; but this cannot be done with absolute certainty as 
to some few that lie on the borders. 

New England consists of six States, of which all of course 
belong to the North. They are Maine, New Hampshire, 
Yermont, Massachusetts, Khode Island, and Connecticut — 
the six States which should be most dear to England, and 
in which the political success of the United States as a na- 
tion is to my eyes the most apparent. But even in them 
there was till quite of late a strong section so opposed to 
the Republican party as to give a material aid to the South. 
This, I think, was particularly so in New Hampshire, from 
whence President Pierce came. He had been one of the 
Senators fi'om New Hampshire ; and yet to him, as Presi- 
dent, is affixed the disgrace — whether truly affixed or not I 
do not say — of having first used his power in secretly or- 
ganizing those arrangements which led to secession and 
assisted at its birth. In Massachusetts itself, also, there 
was a strong Democratic party, of which Massachusetts 
now seems to be somewhat ashamed. Then, to make up 
the North, must be added the two great States of New 
York and Pennsylvania and the small State of New Jersey. 
The West will not agree even to this absolutely, seeing that 
they claim all territory west of the Alleghanies, and that a 
portion of Pennsylvania and some part also of New York 
lie westward of that range ; but, in endeavoring to make 
these divisions ordinarily intelligible, I may say that the 
North consists of the nine States above named. But the 
North will also claim Maryland and Delaware, and the 
eastern half of Yirginia. The North will claim them, though 
they are attached to the South by joint participation in the 
great social institution of slavery — for Maryland, Delaware, 
and Yirginia are slave States — and I think that the North 
will ultimately make good its claim. Maryland and Dela- 
ware lie, as it were, behind the capital, and Eastern Yirginia 



is close upon the capital. And these regions are not trop- 
ical in their climate or influences. They are and have been 
slave States, but will probably rid themselves of that taint, 
and become a portion of tlie free North. 

The Southern or slave States, properly so called, are 
easily defined. They are Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mis- 
sissippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and 
North Carolina. The South will also claim Tennessee, 
Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland, and 
will endeavor to prove its right to the claim by the fact of 
the social institution being the law of the land in those 
States. Of Delaware, Maryland, and Eastern Virginia, I 
have already spoken. Western Virginia is, I think, so lit- 
tle tainted with slavery that, as she stands even at present, 
she properly belongs to the West. As I now write, the 
struggle is going on in Kentucky and Missouri. In Mis- 
souri the slave population is barely more than a tenth of 
the whole, while in South Carolina and Mississippi it is 
more than half. And, therefore, I venture to count Mis- 
souri among the Western States, although slavery is still 
the law of the land within its borders. It is surrounded on 
three sides by free States of the West, and its soil, let us 
hope, must become free. Kentucky I must leave as doubt- 
ful, though I am inclined to believe that slavery will be 
abolished there also. Kentucky, at any rate, will never 
throw in its lot with the Southern States. As to Tennes- 
see, it seceded heart and soul, and I fear that it must be 
accounted as Southern, although the Northern army has 
now, in May, 18G2, possessed itself of the greater part of 
the State. 

To the great West remains an enormous territory, of 
which, however, the population is as yet but scanty ; though 
perhaps no portion of the world has increased so fast in 
population as have these Western States. The list is as 
follows: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Min- 
nesota, Iowa, Kansas; to which I would add Missouri, and 
probably the Western half of Virginia. We have then 
to account for the two already admitted States on the Paci- 
fic, California and Oregon, and also for the unadmitted Ter- 
ritories, Dacotah, Nebraska, Washington, Utah, New Mex- 
ico, Colorado, and Nevada. I should be refining too much 
for my present very general purpose, if I were to attempt 
to marshal these huge but thinly-populated regions in either 



rank. Of California and Oregon it may probably be said 
that it is their ambition to form themselves into a separate 
division — a division which may be called the farther West. 

I know that all statistical statements are tedious, and I 
believe that but few readers believe them. I will, however, 
venture to give the populations of these States in the order 
I have named them, seeing that power in America depends 
almost entirely on population. The census of 1860 gave 
the following results : — 

In the North : 

Maine. ..... 619,000 

New Hampshire .... 326,872 

Vermont ..... 325,827 

Massachusetts .... 1,231,494 

Rhode Island . . . . .174,621 

Connecticut .... 460,670 

New York ..... 3,851,563 

Pennsylvania .... 2,916,018 

New Jersey .... 676,034 

Total .... 10,582,099 

In the South, the population of which must be divided 
into free and slave : 









. 354,245 



Arkansas . 





. 407,051 



Alabama . 




Florida . 

. 81,885 







South Carolina 

. 308,186 



North Carolina . 





. 859,578 







In the doubtful 

States : 




Maryland . 





. 110,548 








. 920,077 



Total . 

. 2,774,181 





In the West; 

Indiana . 
low a 
Kansas . 




To these must be added, to make up the population of 
the United States as it stood in 18G0, — 

The separate District of Columbia, in which is 
included Washington, the seat of the Federal 

Government , . . . . 75,321 

California ..... 384,770 

Oregon ...... 52,566 

The Territories of — 

Dacotah ..... 4,839 

Nebraska ..... 28,892 

Washington .... 11,624 

Utah 49,000 

New Mexico .... 93,024 

Colorado ..... 34,197 

Nevada ..... 6,857 

Total ..... 741,090 

And thus the total population may be given as fol- 
lows : — 

North ..... 10,582,099 

South ..... 7,649,660 

Doubtful ..... 3,582,684 

West ..... 9,140,390 

Outlying States and Territories . . 741,090 

Total .... 31,695,923 

Each of the three interests would consider itself wronged 
by the division above made, but the South would probably 
be the loudest in asserting its grievance. The South claims 

* Of which number, in Missouri, 115,619 are slaves. 



all the slave States, and would point to secession in "Vir- 
ginia to justify such claim, and would point also to Mary- 
land and Baltimore, declaring that secession would be as 
strong there as at New Orleans, if secession were practica- 
ble. Maryland and Baltimore lie behind Washington, and 
are under the heels of the Northern troops, so that seces- 
sion is not practicable ; but the South would say that they 
have seceded in heart. In this the South would have some 
show of reason for its assertion ; but nevertheless I shall 
best convey a true idea of the position of these States by 
classing them as doubtful. When secession shall have been 
accomplished — if ever it be accomplished — it will hardly be 
possible that they should adhere to the South. 

It will be seen by the foregoing tables that the popula- 
tion of the West is nearly equal to that of the North, and 
that therefore Western power is almost as great as North- 
ern. It is almost as great already, and as population in 
the West increases faster than it does in the North, the two 
will soon be equalized. They are already sufficiently on a 
par to enable them to fight on equal terms, and they will be 
prepared for fighting — political fighting, if no other — as 
soon as they have established their supremacy over a com- 
mon enemy. 

While I am on the subject of population I should ex- 
plain — though the point is not one which concerns the 
present argument — that the numbers given, as they regard 
the South, include both the whites and the blacks, the free 
men and the slaves. The political power of the South is 
of course in the hands of the white race only, and the total 
white population should therefore be taken as the number 
indicating the Southern power. The political power of 
the South, however, as contrasted with that of the North, 
has, since the commencement of the Union, been much in- 
creased by the slave population. The slaves have been 
taken into account in determining the number of represent- 
atives which should be sent to Congress by each State. 
That number depends on the population, but it was decided 
in 178t that in counting up the number of representatives 
to which each State should be held to be entitled, five slaves 
should represent three white men. A Southern population, 
therefore, of five thousand free men and five thousand slaves 
would claim as many representatives as a Northern popula- 
tion of eight thousand free men, although the voting would 



be confined to the free population. This has ever since 
been the law of the United States. 

The Western power is nearly equal to that of the North, 
and this fact, somewhat exaggerated in terms, is a frequent 
boast in the mouths of Western men. " We ran Fremont 
for President," they say, ''and had it not been for Northern 
men with Southern principles, we should have put him in 
the White House instead of the traitor Buchanan. If that 
had been done there would have been no secession." How 
things might have gone had Fremont been elected in lieu 
of Buchanan, I will not pretend to say; but the nature of 
the argument shows the dilference that exists between 
Northern and Western feeling. At the time that I was in 
the West, General Fremont was the great topic of public 
interest. Every newspaper was discussing his conduct, his 
ability as a soldier, his energy, and his fate. At that time 
General McClellan was in command at Washington on the 
Potomac, it being understood that he held his power directly 
under the President, free from the exercise of control on 
the part of the veteran General Scott, though at that time 
General Scott had not actually resigned his position as head 
of the army. And General Fremont, who some five years 
before had been "run" for President by the Western States, 
held another command of nearly equal independence in 
Missouri. He had been put over General Lyon in the 
Western command, and directly after this General Lyon had 
fallen in battle at Springfield, in the first action in which the 
opposing armies were engaged in the West. General Fre- 
mont at once proceeded to carry matters with a very high 
hand. On the 30th of August, 1861, he issued a proclama- 
tion by which he declared martial law at St. Louis, the city 
at which he held his headquarters, and indeed throughout 
the State of Missouri generally. In this proclamation he 
declared his intention of exercising a severity beyond that 
ever threatened, as I believe, in modern warfare. He de- 
fines the region presumed to be held by his army of occu- 
pation, drawing his lines across the State, and then declares 
"that all persons who shall be taken with arms in their 
hands within those lines shall be tried by court-martial, and 
if found guilty will be shot." He then goes on to say that 
he will confiscate all the property of persons in the State 
who shall have taken up arms against the Union, or who 
shall have taken part with the enemies of the Union, and 


that he will make free all slaves belonging to such persons. 
This proclamation was not approved at Washington, and 
was modified by the order of the President. It was under- 
stood also that he issued orders for military expenditure 
which were not recognized at Washington, and men began 
to understand that the army in the West was gradually as- 
suming that irresponsible military position which, in dis- 
turbed countries and in times of civil war, has so frequently 
resulted in a military dictatorship. Then there arose a 
clamor for the removal of General Fremont. A semi-official 
account of his proceedings, which had reached Washington 
from an officer under his command, was made public, and 
also the correspondence which took place on the subject 
between the President and General Fremont's wife. The 
officer in question was thereupon placed under arrest, but 
immediately released by orders from Washington. He then 
made official complaint of his general, sending forward a 
list of charges, in which Fremont was accused of rashness, 
incompetency, want of fidelity of the interests of the gov- 
ernment, and disobedience to orders from headquarters. 
After awhile the Secretary of War himself proceeded from 
Washington to the quarters of General Fremont at St. 
Louis, and remained there for a day or two making, or pre- 
tending to make, inquiry into the matter. But when he 
returned he left the General still in command. During the 
whole month of October the papers were occupied in de- 
claring in the morning that General Fremont had been 
recalled from his command, and in the evening that he was 
to remain. In the mean time they who befriended his cause, 
and this included the whole West, were hoping from day to 
day that he would settle the matter for himself and silence 
his accusers, by some great military success. General Price 
held the command opposed to him, and men said that Fre- 
mont would sweep General Price and his array down the 
valley of the Mississippi into the sea. But General Price 
would not be so swept, and it began to appear that a guer- 
rilla warfare would prevail; that General Price, if driven 
southward, would reappear behind the backs of his pur- 
suers, and that General Fremont w^ould not accomplish all 
that was expected of him with that rapidity for which his 
friends had given him credit. So the newspapers still went 
on waging the war, and every morning General Fremont 




was recalled, and every evening they who had recalled him 
were shown up as having known nothing of the matter. 

" Never mind ; he is a pioneer man, and will do a'most 
anything he pnts his hand to," his friends in the West still 
said. "He understands the frontier." Understanding the 
frontier is a great thing in Western America, across which 
the vanguard of civilization continues to march on in ad- 
vance from year to year. " And it's he that is bound to 
sweep slavery from o'flF the face of this continent. He's the 
man, and he's about the only man." I am not qualified to 
write the life of General Fremont, and can at present only 
make this slight reference to the details of his romantic 
career. That it has been full of romance, and that the man 
himself is endued with a singular energy, and a high, ro- 
mantic idea of what may be done by power and will, there 
is no doubt. Five times he has crossed the Continent of 
North America from Missouri to Oregon and California, 
enduring great hardships in the service of advancing civili- 
zation and knowledge. That he has considerable talent, 
immense energy, and strong self-confidence, I believe. He 
is a frontier man — one of those who care nothing for dan- 
ger, and who would dare anything with the hope of accom- 
plishing a great career. But I have never heard that he 
has shown any practical knowledge of high military matters. 
It may be doubted whether a man of this stamp is well fitted 
to hold the command of a nation's army for great national 
purposes. May it not even be presumed that a man of this 
class is of all men the least fitted for such a work ? The 
officer required should be a man with two specialties — a 
specialty for military tactics and a specialty for national 
duty. The army in the West was far removed from head- 
quarters in Washington, and it was peculiarly desirable that 
the general commanding it should be one possessing a strong 
idea of obedience to the control of his own government. 
Those frontier capabilities — that self-dependent energy for 
which his friends gave Fremont, and probably justly gave 
him, such unlimited credit — are exactly the qualities which 
are most dangerous in such a position. 

I have endeavored to explain the circumstances of the 
Western command in Missouri as they existed at the time 
when I was in the Northwestern States, in order that the 
double action of the North and West may be understood. 
I, of course, was not in the secret of any official persons ; 



but I could not but feel sure that the government in Wash- 
ington would have been glad to have removed Fremont at 
once from the command, had they not fcare^l that by so 
doing they would have created a schism, as it were, in their 
own camp, and have done much to break up the integrity 
or oneness of Northern loyalty. The Western people almost 
to a man desired abolition. The States there were sending 
out their tens of thousands of young men into the army 
with a prodigality as to their only source of wealth which 
they hardly recognized themselves, because this to them was 
a fight against slavery. The Western population has been 
increased to a wonderful degree by a German infusion — so 
much so that the Western towns appear to have been peo- 
pled with Germans. I found regiments of volunteers con- 
sisting wholly of Germans. And the Germans are all 
abolitionists. To all the men of the West the name of Fre- 
mont is dear. He is their hero and their Hercules. He is 
to cleanse the stables of the Southern king, and turn the 
waters of emancipation through the foul stalls of slavery. 
And therefore, though the Cabinet in Washington would 
have been glad for many reasons to have removed Fremont 
in October last, it was at first scared from committing itself 
to so strong a measure. At last, however, the charges made 
against him were too fully substantiated to allow of their 
being set on one side ; and early in November, 1861, he was 
superseded. I shall be obliged to allude again to General 
Fremont's career as I go on with my narrative. 

At this time the North was looking for a victory on the 
Potomac ; but they were no longer looking for it with that 
impatience which in the summer had led to the disgrace at 
Bull's Run. They had recognized the fact that their troops 
must be equipped, drilled, and instructed ; and they had 
also recognized the perhaps greater fact that their enemies 
were neither weak, cowardly, nor badly officered. I have 
always thought that the tone and manner with which the 
North bore the defeat at Bull's Run was creditable to it. 
It was never denied, never explained away, never set down 
as trifling. ''We have been whipped," v.^as what all North- 
erners said; "we've got an almighty whipping, and here 
we are." I have heard many Englishmen complain of this 
. — saying that the matter was taken almost as a joke, that 
no disgrace was felt, and that the licking was owned by a 
people who ought never to have allowed that they had been 



licked. To all this, however, I demur. Their only chance 
of speedy success consisted in their seeing and recognizing 
the truth. Had they confessed the whipping, and then sat 
down with their hands in their pockets — had they done as 
second-rate boys at school will do, declare that they had 
been hcked, and then feel that all the trouble is over — tliey 
would indeed have been open to reproach. The old mother 
across the water would in such case have disowned her son. 
But they did the very reverse of this. " I have been whipped," 
Jonathan said, and he immediately went into training under 
a new system for another fight. 

And so all through September and October the great 
armies on the Potomac rested comparatively in quiet — the 
Northern forces drawing to themselves immense levies. 
The general confidence in McClellan was then very great ; 
and the cautious measures by which he endeavored to bring 
his vast untrained body of men under discipline were such 
as did at that time recommend themselves to most military 
critics. Early in September the Northern party obtained 
a considerable advantage by taking the fort at Cape Hat- 
teras, in North Carolina, situated on one of those long banks 
which lie along the shores of the Southern* States ; but, 
toward the end of October, they experienced a considerable 
reverse in an attack which was made on the secessionists by 
General Stone, and in which Colonel Baker was killed. 
Colonel Baker had been Senator for Oregon, and was well 
known as an orator. Taking all things together, however, 
nothing material had been done up to the end of October ; 
and at that time Northern men were waiting — not perhaps 
impatiently, considering the great hopes and perhaps great 
fears which filled their hearts, but with eager expectation — 
for some event of which they might talk with pride. 

The man to whom they had trusted all their hopes was 
young for so great a command. I think that, at this time, 
(October, 1861,) General McClellan was not yet thirty-five. 
He had served, early in life, in the Mexican war, having 
come originally from Pennsylvania, and having been edu- 
cated at the military college at West Point. During our 
war with Russia he was sent to the Crimea by his own gov- 
ernment, in conjunction with two other oflicers of the United 
States army, that they might learn all that was to be learned 
there as to military tactics, and report especially as to the 
manner in which fortifications were made and attacked. I 



have been informed that a very able report was sent in by 
them to the government on their return, and that this was 
drawn up by McCIellan. But in America a man is not only 
a soldier, or always a soldier, nor is he always a clergyman 
if once a clergyman : he takes a spell at anything suitable 
that may be going. And in this way McCIellan was, for 
some years, engaged on the Central Illinois Railway, and 
was for a considerable time the head manager of that con- 
cern. We all know with what suddenness he rose to the 
highest command in the army immediately after the defeat 
at Bull's Run. 

1 have endeavored to describe what were the feelings of 
the West in the autumn of 1861 with regard to the war. 
The excitement and eagerness there were very great, and 
they were perhaps as great in the North. But in the North 
the matter seemed to me to be regarded from a different 
point of view. As a rule, the men of the North are not 
abolitionists. It is quite certain that they were not so be- 
fore secession began. They hate slavery as we in England 
hate it ; but they are aware, as also are we, that the dispo- 
sition of four million of black men and women forms a ques- 
tion which cannot be solved by the chivalry of any modern 
Orlando. The property invested in these four million slaves 
forms the entire wealth of the South. If they could be 
wafted by a philanthropic breeze back to the shores of Af- 
rica — a breeze of which the philanthropy would certainly 
not be appreciated by those so wafted — the South would be 
a wilderness. The subject is one as full of difficulty as any 
with which the politicians of these days are tormented. The 
Northerners fully appreciate this, and, as a rule, are not ab- 
olitionists in the Western sense of the word. To them the 
war is recommended by precisely those feelings which ani- 
mated us when we fought for our colonies — when we strove 
to put down American independence. Secession is rebellion 
against the government, and is all the more bitter to the 
North because that rebelhon broke out at the first moment 
of Northern ascendency. "We submitted," the North says, 
" to Southern Presidents, and Southern statesmen, and 
Southern councils, because we obeyed the vote of the peo- 
ple. But as to you — the voice of the people is nothing in 
your estimation ! At the first moment in which the popular 
vote places at Washington a President with Northern feel- 
ings, you rebel. We submitted in your days ; and, by 




Heaven I you shall submit in ours. We submitted loyally, 
through love of the law and the Constitution. You have 
disregarded the law and thrown over the Constitution. But 
you shall be made to submit, as a child is made to submit 
to its governor." 

It must also be remembered that on commercial questions 
the North and the West are divided. The Morrill tariff is 
as odious to the West as it is to the South. The South 
and West are both agricultural productive regions, desirous 
of sending cotton and corn to foreign countries, and of re- 
ceiving back foreign manufactures on the best terms. But 
the North is a manufacturing country — a poor manufactur- 
ing country as regards excellence of manufacture — and 
therefore the more anxious to foster its own growth by 
protective laws. The Morrill tariff is very injurious to the 
West, and is odious there. I might add that its folly has 
already been so far recognized even in the North as to make 
it very generally odious there also. 

So much I have said endeavoring to make it understood 
how far the North and West were united in feeling against 
the South in the autumn of 1861, and how far there existed 
between them a diversity of interests. 



From Niagara we went by the Canada Great Western 
Bailway to Detroit, the big city of Michigan. It is an 
American institution that the States should have a com- 
mercial capital — or what I call their big city — as well 
as a political capital, which may, as a rule, be called the 
State's central city. The object in choosing the political 
capital is average nearness of approach from the various 
confines of the State ; but commerce submits to no such 
Procrustean laws in selecting her capitals, and consequently 
she has placed Detroit on the borders of Michigan, on the 
shore of the neck of water which joins Lake Huron to Lake 



Erie, through which all the trade must flow which comes 
down from Lakes Michigan, Superior, and Huron on its 
way to the Eastern States and to Europe. We had thought 
of going from Buffalo across Lake Erie to Detroit ; but we 
found that the better class of steamers had been taken off 
the waters for the winter. And we also found that naviga- 
tion among these lakes is a mistake whenever the necessary 
journey can be taken by railway. Their waters are by no 
means smooth, and then there is nothing to be seen. I do 
not know whether others may have a feeling, almost instinct- 
ive, that lake navigation must be pleasant — that lakes must 
of necessity be beautiful. I have such a feeling, but not 
now so strongly as formerly. Such an idea should be kept 
for use in Europe, and never brought over to America with 
other traveling gear. The lakes in America are cold, cum- 
brous, uncouth, and uninteresting — intended by nature for 
the conveyance of cereal produce, but not for the comfort 
of traveling men and women. So we gave up our plan of 
traversing the lake, and, passing back into Canada by the 
suspension bridge at Niagara, we reached the Detroit River 
at Windsor by the Great Western line, and passed thence 
by the ferry into the City of Detroit. 

In making this journey at night we introduced ourselves 
to the thoroughly American institution of sleeping-cars — • 
that is, of cars in which beds are made up for travelers. 
The traveler may have a whole bed, or half a bed, or no 
bed at all, as he pleases, paying a dollar or half a dollar 
extra should he choose the partial or full fruition of a 
couch. I confess I have always taken a delight in seeing 
these beds made up, and consider that the operations of the 
change are generally as well executed as the manoeuvres of 
any pantomime at Drury Lane. The work is usually done 
by negroes or colored men, and the domestic negroes of 
America are always light-handed and adroit. The nature 
of an American car is no doubt known to all men. It looks 
as far removed from all bed-room accommodation as the 
baker's barrow does from the steam engine into which it is 
to be converted by Harlequin's wand. But the negro goes 
to work much more quietly than the Harlequin ; and for 
every four seats in the railway car he builds up four beds al- 
most as quickly as the hero of the pantomime goes through 
/ his performance. The great glory of the Americans is in 
their wondrous contrivances — in their patent remedies for 



the usually troablous operations of life. In their huge ho- 
tels all the bell ropes of each house ring on one bell only ; 
but a patent indicator discloses a number, and the wherea- 
bouts of the ringer is shown. One fire heats every room, 
passage, hall, and cupboard, and does it so effectually that 
the inhabitants are all but stifled. Soda-water bottles open 
themselves without any trouble of wire or strings. Men and 
women go up and down stairs without motive power of their 
own. Hot and cold water are laid on to all the chambers ; 
though it sometimes happens that the water from both taps 
is boiling, and that, when once turned on, it cannot be 
turned oft' again by any human energy. Everything is 
done by a new and wonderful patent contrivance ; and of 
all their wonderful contrivances, that of their railroad beds 
is by no means the least. For every four seats the negro 
builds up four beds — that is, four half beds, or accommoda- 
tion for four persons. Two are supposed to be below, on 
the level of the ordinary four seats, and two up above on 
shelves which are let down from the roof. Mattresses slip 
out from one nook and pillows from another. Blankets are 
added, and the bed is ready. Any over-particular individ- 
ual — an islander, for instance, who hugs his chains — will 
generally prefer to pay the dollar for the double accommo- 
dation. Looking at the bed in the light of a bed — taking, 
as it were, an abstract view of it — or comparing it with 
some other bed or beds with which the occupant may have 
acquaintance, I cannot say that it is in all respects perfect. 
But distances are long in America ; and he who declines to 
travel by night will lose very much time. He who does so 
travel will find the railway bed a great relief. I must con- 
fess that the feeling of dirt, on the following morning, is 
rather oppressive. 

From Windsor, on the Canada side, we passed over to 
Detroit, in the State of Michigan, by a steam ferry. But 
ferries in England and ferries in America are very different. 
Here, on this Detroit ferry, some hundred of passengers, 
who were going forward from the other side without delay, 
at once sat down to breakfast. I may as well explain the 
way in which disposition is made of one's luggage as one 
takes these long journeys. The traveler, when he starts, 
has his baggage checked. He abandons his trunk — gener- 
ally a box, studded with nails, as long as a coffin and as 
high as a linen chest — and, in return for this, he receives an 



iron ticket with a number on it. As he approaches the end 
of his first installment of travel, and while tlie engine is still 
working its hardest, a man comes up to him, bearing with 
him, suspended on a circular bar, an infinite variety of other 
checks. The traveler confides to this man his wishes, and, 
if he be going farther without delay, surrenders his check 
and receives a counter-check in return. Then, while the 
train is still in motion, the new destiny of the trunk is im- 
parted to it* But another man, with another set of checks, 
also comes the way, walking leisurely through the train as 
he performs his work. This is the minister of the hotel- 
omnibus institution. His business is with those who do not 
travel beyond the next terminus. To him, if such be your 
intention, you make your confidence, giving up your tallies, 
and taking other tallies by way of receipt ; and your lug- 
gage is afterward found by you in the hall of your hotel. 
There is undoubtedly very much of comfort in this; and the 
mind of the traveler is lost in amazement as he thinks of 
the futile efforts with which he would struggle to regain his 
luggage were there no such arrangement. Enormous piles 
of boxes are disclosed on the platform at all the larger sta- 
tions, the numbers of which are roared forth with quick 
voice by some two or three railway denizens at once. A 
modest English voyager, with six or seven small packages, 
would stand no chance of getting anything if he were left 
to his own devices. As it is, I am bound to say that the 
thing is well done. I have had my desk with all my money 
in it lost for a day, and my black leather bag was on one 
occasion sent back over the line. They, however, were re- 
covered ; and, on the whole, I feel grateful to the check 
system of the American railways. And then, too, one never 
hears of extra luggage. Of weight they are quite regard- 
less. On two or three occasions an overwrought official 
has muttered between his teeth that ten packages were a 
great many, and that some of those ''light fixings" might 
have been made up into one. And when I came to under- 
stand that the number of every check was entered in a book, 
and re-entered at every change, I did whisper to my wife 
that she ought to do without a bonnet box. The ten, how- 
ever, went on, and were always duly protected. I must 
add, however, that articles requiring tender treatment will 
sometimes reappear a little the worse from the hardships of 
their journey. 



I have not much to say of Detroit — not much, that is, 
beyond what I have to say of all the North. It is a large, 
well-built, half-finished city, lying on a convenient water- 
way, and spreading itself out with promises of a wide and 
still wider prosperity. It has about it perhaps as little of 
intrinsic interest as any of those large Western towns which 
I visited. It is not so pleasant as Milwaukee, nor so pic- 
turesque as St. Paul, nor so grand as Chicago, nor so civil- 
ized as Cleveland, nor so busy as Buffalo. Indeed, Detroit is 
neither pleasant nor picturesque at all. I will not say that 
it is uncivilized ; but it has a harsh, crude, unprepossessing 
appearance. It has some 10,000 inhabitants, and good ac- 
commodation for shipping. It was doing an enormous busi- 
ness before the war began, and, when these troublous times 
are over, will no doubt again go ahead. I do not, however, 
think it well to recommend any Englishman to make a spe- 
cial visit to Detroit who may be wholly uncommercial in his 
views, and travel in search of that which is either beautiful 
or interesting. 

From Detroit we continued our course westward across 
the State of Michigan, through a country that was abso- 
lutely wild till the railway pierced it. Yery much of it is 
still absolutely wild. For miles upon miles the road passes 
the untouched forest, showing that even in Michigan the 
great work of civilization has hardly more than been com- 
menced. As one thinks of the all but countless population 
which is, before long, to be fed from these regions — of the 
cities which will grow here, and of the amount of govern- 
ment which in due time will be required — one can hardly 
fail to feel that the division of the United States into sepa- 
rate nationalities is merely a part of the ordained work of 
creation as arranged for the well-being of mankind. The 
States already boast of thirty millions of inhabitants — not 
of unnoticed and unnoticeable beings requiring little, know- 
ing little, and doing little, such as are the Eastern hordes, 
which may be counted by tens of millions, but of men and 
women who talk loudly and are ambitious, who eat beef, 
who read and write, and understand the dignity of manhood. 
But these thirty millions are as nothing to the crowds which 
will grow sleek, and talk loudly, and become aggressive on 
these wheat and meat producing levels. The country is as 
yet but touched by the pioneering hand of population. In 
the old countries, agriculture, following on the heels of pas- 



toral, patriarchal life, preceded the birth of cities. But in 
this young world the cities have come lirst. The new Ja- 
sons, blessed with the experience of the Old-World adven- 
turers, have gone forth in search of their golden fleeces, 
armed with all that the science and skill of the East had as 
yet produced, and, in settling up their new Colchis, have 
begun by the erection of first-class hotels and the fabrica- 
tion of railroads. Let the Old World bid them God speed 
in their worl^. Only it would be well if they could be brought 
to acknowledge from whence they have learned all that they 

Our route lay right across the State to a place called 
Grand Haven, on Lake Michigan, from whence we were to 
take boat for Milwaukee, a town in Wisconsin, on the op- 
posite or western shore of the lake. Michigan is sometimes 
called the Peninsular State, from the fact that the main part 
of its territory is surrounded by Lakes Michigan and Huron, 
by the little Lake St. Clair and by Lake Erie. It juts out 
to the northward from the main land of Indiana and Ohio, 
and is circumnavigable on the east, north, and west. These 
particulars, however, refer to a part of the State only ; for 
a portion of it lies on the other side of Lake Michigan, be- 
tween that and Lake Superior. I doubt whether any large 
inland territory in the world is blessed with such facilities 
of water carriage. 

On arriving at Grand Haven we found that there had 
been a storm on the lake, and that the passengers from the 
trains of the preceding day were still remaining there, wait- 
ing to be carried over to Milwaukee. The water, however 
— or the sea, as they all call it — was still very high, and the 
captain declared his intention of remaining there that night ; 
whereupon all our fellow-travelers huddled themselves into 
the great lake steamboat, and proceeded to carry on life 
there as though they were quite at home. The men took 
themselves to the bar-room, and smoked cigars and talked 
about the war with their feet upon the counter ; and the 
women got themselves into rocking-chairs in the saloon, and 
sat there listless and silent, but not more listless and silent 
than they usually are in the big drawing-rooms of the big 
hotels. There was supper there precisely at six o'clock — 
beef-steaks, and tea, and apple jam, and hot cakes, and light 
fixings, to all which luxuries an American deems himself 
entitled, let him have to seek his meal where he may. And 



I was soon informed, with considerable energy, that let the 
boat be kept there as long as it might by stress of weather, 
the beef-steaks and apple jam, light fixings and heavy fixings, 
must be supplied at the cost of the owners of the ship. 
"Your first supper you pay for," my informant told me, 
"because you eat that on your own account. What you 
consume after that comes of their doing, because they don't 
start ; and if it's three meals a day for a week, it's their 
look out." It occurred to me that, under such circum- 
stances, a captain would be very apt to sail either in foul 
weather or in fair. 

It was a bright moonlight night — moonlight such as we 
rarely have in England — and I started oif by myself for a 
walk, that I might see of what nature were the environs of 
Grand Haven. A more melancholy place I never beheld. 
The town of Grand Haven itself is placed on the opposite 
side of a creek, and was to .be reached by a ferry. On our 
side, to which the railway came and from which the boat 
was to sail, there was nothing to be seen but sand hills, 
which stretched away for miles along the shore of the lake. 
There were great sand mountains and sand valleys, on the 
surface of which were scattered the debris of dead trees, 
scattered logs white with age, and boughs half buried be- 
neath the sand. Grand Haven itself is but a poor place, 
not having succeeded in catching much of the commerce 
which comes across the lake from Wisconsin, and which 
takes itself on Eastward by the railway. Altogether, it is 
a dreary place, such as might break a man's heart should 
he find that inexorable fate required him there to pitch his 

On my return I went down into the bar-room of the 
steamer, put my feet upon the counter, lit my cigar, and 
struck into the debate then proceeding on the subject of 
the war. I was getting West, and General Fremont was 
the hero of the hour. " He's a frontier man, and that's 
what we want. I guess he'll about go through. Yes,' sir." 
"As for relieving General Fre-mont," (with the accent al- 
ways strongly on the "mont,") "I guess you may as well 
talk of relieving the whole West. They won't meddle with 
Fre-mont. They are beginning to know in Washington 
what stuff he's made of." "Why, sir, there are 50,000 men 
in these States who will follow Fre-mont, who would not 
stir a foot after any other man." From which, and the like 



of it in many other places, I began to understand how dif- 
ficult was the task which the statesmen in Washington had 
in hand. 

I received no pecuniary advantage whatever from that 
law as to the steamboat meals which my new friend had re- 
vealed to me. For my one supper of course I paid, look- 
ing forward to any amount of subsequent gratuitous provi- 
sions. But in the course of the night the ship sailed, and 
we found ourselves at Milwaukee in time for breakfast on 
the following morning. 

Milwaukee is a pleasant town, a very pleasant town, con- 
taining 45,000 inhabitants. How many of my readers can 
boast that they know anything of Milwaukee, or even have 
heard of it? To me its name was unknown until I saw it 
on huge railway placards stuck up in the smoking-rooms 
and lounging halls of all American hotels. It is the big 
town of Wisconsin, whereas Madison is the capital. It 
stands immediately on the western shore of Lake Michigan, 
and is very pleasant. Why it should be so, and why Detroit 
should be the contrary, I can hardly tell; only I think that 
the same verdict would be given by any English tourist. 
It must be always borne in mind that 10,000 or 40,000 in- 
habitants in an American town, and especially in any new 
Western town, is a number which means much more than 
would be implied by any similar number as to an old town 
in Europe. Such a population in America consumes double 
the amount of beef which it would in England, wears double 
the amount of clothes, and demands double as much of the 
comforts of life. If a census could be taken of the watches, 
it would be found, I take it, that the American population 
possessed among them nearly double as many as would the 
English; and I fear also that it would be found that many 
more of the Americans were readers and writers by habit. 
In any large town in England it is probable that a higher 
excellence of education would be found than in Milwaukee, 
and also a style of life into which more of refinement and 
more of luxury had found its way. But the general level 
of these things, of material and intellectual well-being — of 
beef, that is, and book learning — is no doubt infinitely 
higher in a new American than in an old European town. 
Such an animal as a beggar is as much unknown as a mas- 
todon. Men out of work and in want are almost unknown. 
I do not say that there are none of the hardships of life — 




and to thera I will come by-and-by — but want is not known 
as a hardship in these towns, nor is that dense ignorance in 
which so large a proportion of our town populations is still 
steeped. And then the town of 40,000 inhabitants is 
spread over a surface which would sulfice in England for a 
city of four times the size. Our towns in England — and the 
towns, indeed, of Europe generally — have been built as 
they have been wanted. No aspiring ambition as to hun- 
dreds of thousands of people warmed the bosoms of their 
first founders. Two or three dozen men required habita- 
tions in the same locality, and clustered them together 
closely. Many such have failed and died out of the world's 
notice. Others have thriven, and houses have been packed 
on to houses, till London and Manchester, Dublin and Glas- 
gow have been produced. Poor men have built, or have 
had built for them, wretched lanes, and rich men have erected 
grand palaces. From the nature of their beginnings such 
has, of necessity, been the manner of their creation. But 
in America, and especially in Western America, there has 
been no such necessity and there is no such result. The 
founders of cities have had the experience of the world be- 
fore them. They have known of sanitary laws as they 
began. That sewerage, and water, and gas, and good air 
would be needed for a thriving community has been to them 
as much a matter of fact as are the well-understood combi- 
nations between timber and nails, and bricks and mortar. 
They have known that water carriage is almost a necessity 
for commercial success, and have chosen their sites accord- 
ingly. Broad streets cost as little, while land by the foot 
is not as yet of value to be regarded, as those which are 
narrow; and therefore the sites of towns have been pre- 
pared with noble avenues and imposing streets. A city at 
its commencement is laid out with an intention that it shall 
be populous. The houses are not all built at once, but there 
are the places allocated for them. The streets are not made, 
but there are the spaces. Many an abortive attempt at 
municipal greatness has so been made and then all but 
abandoned. There are wretched villages, with huge, strag- 
gling parallel ways, which will never grow into towns. 
They are the failures — failures in which the pioneers of 
civilization, frontier men as they call themselves, have lost 
their tens of thousands of dollars. But when the success 
comes, when the happy hit has been made, and the ways of 



commerce have been truly foreseen with a cunning eye, then 
a great and prosperous city springs up,' ready made as it 
were, from the earth. Such a town is Milwaukee, now con- 
taining 45,000 inhabitants, but with room apparently for 
double that number; with room for four times that number, 
were men packed as closely there as they are with us. 

In the principal business streets of all these towns one 
sees vast buildings. They are usually called blocks, and 
are often so denominated in large letters on their front, as 
Portland Block, Devereux Block, Buel's Block. Such a 
block may face to two, three, or even four streets, and, as I 
presume, has generally been a matter of one special specu- 
lation. It may be divided into separate houses, or kept for 
a single purpose, such as that of a hotel, or grouped into 
shops below, and into various sets of chambers above. I 
have had occasion in various towns to mount the stairs 
within these blocks, and have generally found some portion 
of them vacant — have sometimes found the greater portion 
of them vacant. Men build on an enormous scale, three 
times, ten times as much as is wanted. The only measure 
of size is an increase on what men have built before. Mon- 
roe P. Jones, the speculator, is very probably ruined, and 
then begins the world again, nothing daunted. But Jones's 
block remains, and gives to the city in its aggregate a cer- 
tain amount of wealth. Or the block becomes at once of 
service and finds tenants. In which case Jones probably 
sells it, and immediately builds two others twice as big. 
That Monroe P. Jones will encounter ruin is almost a mat- 
ter of course; but then he is none the worse for being 
ruined. It hardly makes him unhappy. He is greedy of 
dollars with a terrible covetousness ; but he is greedy in 
order that he may speculate more widely. He would sooner 
have built Jones's tenth block, with a prospect of complet- 
ing a twentieth, than settle himself down at rest for life as 
the owner of a Chatsworth or a Woburn. As for his chil- 
dren, he has no desire of leaving them money. Let the 
girls marry. And for the boys — for them it will be good to 
begin as he begun. If they cannot build blocks for them- 
selves, let them earn their bread in the blocks of other men. 
So Monroe P. Jones, with his million of dollars accom- 
plished, advances on to a new frontier, goes to work again 
on a new city, and loses it all. As an individual I differ 
very much from Monroe P. Jones. The first block accom- 



plished, with an adequate rent accruing to me as the builder, 
I fancy that I should never try a second. But Jones is 
undoubtedly the man for the West. It is that love of 
money to come, joined to a strong disregard for money 
made, which constitutes the vigorous frontier mind, the true 
pioneering organization. Monroe P. Jones would be a 
great man to all posterity if only he had a poet to sing of 
his valor. 

It may be imagined how large in proportion to its inhab- 
itants will be a town which spreads itself in this way. 
There are great houses left untenanted, and great gaps left 
unfilled. But if the place be successful, if it promise suc- 
cess, it will be seen at once that there is life all through it. 
Omnibuses, or street cars working on rails, run hither and 
thither. The shops that have been opened are well filled. 
The great hotels are thronged. The quays are crowded 
with vessels, and a general feeling of progress pervades the 
place. It is easy to perceive whether or no an American 
town is going ahead. The days of my visit to Milwaukee 
were days of civil war and national trouble, but in spite of 
civil war and national trouble Milwaukee looked healthy. 

I have said that there was but little poverty — little to be 
seen of real want in these thriving towns — but that they 
who labored in them had nevertheless their own hardships. 
This is so. I would not have any man believe that he can 
take himself to the Western States of America — to those 
States of which I am now speaking — Michigan, Wisconsin, 
Minnesota, Iowa, or Illinois, and there by industry escape 
the ills to which flesh is heir. The laboring Irish in these 
towns eat meat seven days a week, but I have met many a 
laboring Irishman among them who has wished himself 
back in his old cabin. Industry is a good thing, and there 
is no bread so sweet as that which is eaten in the sweat of 
a man's brow ; but labor carried to excess wearies the mind 
as well as body, and the sweat that is ever running makes 
the bread bitter. There is, I think, no task-master over 
free labor so exacting as an American. He knows nothing 
of hours, and seems to have that idea of a man which a 
lady always has of a horse. He thinks that he will go for- 
ever. I wish those masons in London who strike for nine 
hours' work with ten hours' pay could be driven to the 
labor market of Western America for a spell. And more- 
over, which astonished me, I have seen men driven and hur- 



ried, as it were forced forward at their work, in a manner 
which, to an English workman, would be intolerable. This 
surprised me much, as it was at variance with our — or per- 
haps I should say with my — preconceived ideas as to Ameri- 
can freedom, I had fancied that an AmericaD citizen would 
not submit to be driven ; that the spirit of the country, if 
not the spirit of the individual, would have made it impos- 
sible. I thought that the shoe would have pinched quite 
on the other foot. But I found that such driving did exist, 
and American masters in the West with whom I had an 
opportunity of discussing the subject all admitted it. 
"Those men'U never half move unless they're driven," a 
foreman said to me once as we stood together over some 
twenty men who were at their work. "They kinder look 
for it, and don't well know how to get along when they miss 
it." It was not his business at this moment to drive — nor 
was he driving. He was standing at some little distance 
from the scene with me, and speculating on the sight before 
him. I thought the men were working at their best ; but 
their movements did not satisfy his practiced eye, and he 
saw at a glance that there was no one immediately over 

But there is worse even than this. Wages in these re- 
gions are what we should call high. An agricultural laborer 
will earn perhaps fifteen dollars a month and his board, and 
a town laborer will earn a dollar a day. A dollar may be 
taken as representing four shillings, though it is in fact 
more. Food in these parts is much cheaper than in Eng- 
land, and therefore the wages must be considered as very 
good. In making, however, a just calculation it must be 
borne in mind that clothing is dearer than in England, and 
that much more of it is necessary. The wages nevertheless 
are high, and will enable the laborer to save money, if only 
he can get them paid. The complaint that wages are held 
back, and not even ultimately paid, is very common. There 
is no fixed rule for satisfying all such claims once a week, 
and thus debts to laborers are contracted, and when con- 
tracted are ignored. With us there is a feeling that it is 
pitiful, mean almost beyond expression, to wrong a laborer 
of his hire. We have men who go in debt to tradesmen 
perhaps without a thought of paying them ; but when we 
speak of such a one who has descended into the lowest mire 
of insolvency, we say that he has not paid his washerwoman. 




Out there in the "West the washerwoman is as fair game as 
the tailor, the domestic servant as the wine merchant. If 
a man be honest he will not willingly take either goods or 
labor without payment; and it may be hard to prove that 
he who takes the latter is more dishonest than he who takes 
the former; but with us there is a prejudice in favor of one's 
washerwoman by which the Western mind is not weakened. 
"They certainly have to be smart to get it," a gentleman 
said to me whom I had taxed on the subject "You see, on 
the frontier a man is bound to be smart. If he aint smart, 
he'd better go back East, perhaps as far as Europe ; he'll 
do there." I had got my answer, and my friend had turned 
the question; but the fact was admitted by him, as it had 
been by many others. 

Why this should be so is a question to answer which 
thoroughly would require a volume in itself. As to the 
driving, why should men submit to it, seeing that labor is 
abundant, and that in all newly-settled countries the laborer 
is the true hero of the age ? In answer to this is to be 
alleged the fact that hired labor is chiefly done by fresh 
comers, by Irish and Germans, who have not as yet among 
them any combination sufficient to protect them from such 
usage. The men over them are new as masters, masters 
who are rough themselves, who themselves have been roughly 
driven, and who have not learned to be gracious to those 
below them. It is a part of their contract that very hard 
work shall be exacted, and the driving resolves itself into 
this : that the master, looking after his own interest, is con- 
stantly accusing his laborer of a breach of his part of the 
contract. The men no doubt do become used to it, and 
slacken probably in their endeavors when the tongue of the 
master or foreman is not heard. But as to that matter of 
non-payment of wages, the men must live ; and here, as 
elsewhere, the master who omits to pay once will hardly 
find laborers in future. The matter would remedy itself 
elsewhere, and does it not do so here? This of course is 
so, and it is not to be understood that labor as a rule is 
defrauded of its hire. But the relation of the master and 
the man admit of such fraud here much more frequently 
than in England. In England the laborer who did not get 
his wages on the Saturday, could not go on for the next 
week. To him, under such circumstances, the world would 
be coming to an end. But in the Western States the 



laborer does not live so completely from hand to mouth. 
He is rarely paid by the week, is accustomed to give some 
credit, and, till hard pressed by bad circumstances, gener- 
ally has something by him. Tliey do save money, and are 
thus fattened up to a state which admits of victimization. 
I cannot owe money to the little village cobbler who mends 
my shoes, because he demands and receives his payment 
when his job is done. But to my friend in Regent Street I 
extend my custom on a different system ; and when I make 
my start for continental life I have with him a matter of un- 
settled business to a considerable extent. The American 
laborer is in the condition of the Regent Street bootmaker, 
excepting in this respect, that he gives his credit under 
compulsion. "But does not the law set him right? Is 
there no law against debtors ?" The laws against debtors 
are plain enough as they are written down, but seem to be 
anything but plain when called into action. They are per- 
fectly understood, and operations are carried on with the 
express purpose of evading them. If you proceed against 
a man, you find that his property is in the hands of some 
one else. You work in fact for Jones, who lives in the 
street next to you ; but when you quarrel with Jones about 
your wages, you find that according to law you have been 
working for Smith, in another State. In all countries such 
dodges are probably practicable. But men will or will not 
have recourse to such dodges according to the light in which 
they are regarded by the community. In the Western 
States such dodges do not appear to be regarded as dis- 
graceful. "It behoves a frontier man to be smart, sir." 

Honesty is the best policy. That is a doctrine which has 
been widely preached, and which has recommended itself to 
many minds as being one of absolute truth. It is not very 
ennobling in its sentiment, seeing that it advocates a special 
virtue, not on the ground that that virtue is in itself a thing 
beautiful, but on account of the immediate reward which 
will be its consequence. Smith is enjoined not to cheat 
Jones, because he will, in the long run, make more money 
by dealing with Jones on the square. This is not teaching 
of the highest order; but it is teaching well adapted to hu- 
man circumstances, and has obtained for itself a wide credit. 
One is driven, however, to doubt whether even this teaching 
is not too high for the frontier man. Is it possible that a 
frontier mau should be scrupulous and at the same time 



successful? Hitherto those wlio have allowed scruples to 
stand in their way have not succeeded ; and they who have 
succeeded and made for themselves great names, who have 
been the pioneers of civilization, have not allowed ideas of 
exact honesty to stand in their way. From General Jason 
down to General Fremont there have been men of great 
aspirations but of slight scruples. They have been ambi- 
tious of power and desirous of progress, but somewhat re- 
gardless how power and progress shall be attained. Clive 
and Warren Hastings were great frontier men, but we can- 
not imagine that they had ever realized the doctrine that 
honesty is the best policy. Cortez, and even Columbus, the 
prince of frontier men, are in the same category. The 
names of such heroes is legion ; but with none of them has 
absolute honesty been a favorite virtue. "It behoves a 
frontier man to be smart, sir." Such, in that or other lan- 
guage, has been the prevailing idea. Such is the prevailing 
idea. And one feels driven to ask one's self whether such 
must not be the prevailing idea with those who leave the 
world and its rules behind them, and go forth with the re- 
solve that the world and its rules shall follow them. 

Of filibustering, annexation, and polishing savages off 
the face of creation there has been a great deal, and who 
can deny that humanity has been the gainer ? It seems to 
those who look widely back over history, that all such works 
have been carried on in obedience to God's laws. When 
Jacob by Rebecca's aid cheated his elder brother, he was 
very smart ; but we cannot but suppose that a better race 
was by this smartness put in possession of the patriarchal 
scepter. Esau was polished off, and readers of Scripture 
wonder why heaven, with its thunder, did not open over 
the heads of Rebecca and her son. But Jacob, with all his 
fraud, was the chosen one. Perhaps the day may come 
when scrupulous honesty may be the best policy, even on 
the frontier. I can only say that hitherto that day seems to 
be as distant as ever. I do not pretend to solve the prob- 
lem, but simply record my opinion that under circumstances 
as they still exist I should not willingly select a frontier 
li'o for my children. 

I have said that all great frontier men have been unscru- 
pulous. There is, however, an exception in history which 
may perhaps serve to prove the rule. The Puritans who 
colonized New England were frontier men, and were, I 



think, in general scrupulously honest. They had their 
faults. They were stern, austere men, tyrannical at the 
backbone when power came in their way, as are all pioneers, 
hard upon vices for which they who made the laws had 
themselves no minds ; but they were not dishonest. 

At Milwaukee I went up to see the Wisconsin volunteers, 
who were then encamped on open ground in the close vicin- 
ity of the town. Of Wisconsin I had heard before — and 
have heard the same opinion repeated since — that it was 
more backward in its volunteering than its neighbor States 
in the West. Wisconsin has 760,000 inhabitants, and its 
tenth thousand of volunteers was not then made up; where- 
as Indiana, with less than double its number, had already 
sent out thirty-six thousand. Iowa, with a hundred thou- 
sand less of inhabitants, had then made up fifteen thousand. 
But neverthless to me it seemed that Wisconsin was quite 
alive to its presumed duty in that respect. Wisconsin, with 
its three-quarters of a million of people, is as large as Eng- 
land. Every acre of it may be made productive, but as yet 
it is not half cleared. Of such a country its young men 
are its heart's blood. Ten thousand men, fit to bear arms, 
carried away from such a land to the horrors of civil war, 
is a sight as full of sadness as any on which the eye can 
rest. Ah me, when will they return, and with what altered 
hopes ! It is, I fear, easier to turn the sickle into the 
sword than to recast the sword back again into the sickle I 

We found a completed regiment at Wisconsin consisting 
entirely of Germans. A thousand Germans had been col- 
lected in that State and brought together in one regiment, 
and I was informed by an officer on the ground that there 
are many Germans in sundry other of the Wisconsin regi- 
ments. It may be well to mention here that the num- 
ber of Germans through all these Western States is very 
great. Their number and well-being were to me astonish- 
ing. That they form a great portion of the population of 
New York, making the German quarter of that city the 
third largest German town in the world, I have long known ; 
but I had no previous idea of their expansion westward. 
In Detroit nearly every third shop bore a German name, 
and the same remark was to be made at Milwaukee ; and 
on all hands I heard praises of their morals, of their thrift, 
and of their new patriotism. I was continually told how 
far they exceeded the Irish settlers. To me in all parts of 



the world an Irishman is dear. When handled tenderly he 
becomes a creature most lovable. But with all my judg- 
ment in the Irishman's favor, and with my prejudices lean- 
ing the same way, I feel myself bound to state what I heard 
and what I saw as to the Germans. 

But this regiment of Germans, and another not com- 
pleted regiment, called from the State generally, were as 
yet without arms, accouterments, or clothing. There was 
the raw material of the regiment, but there was nothing 
else. Winter was coming on — winter in which the mer- 
cury is commonly twenty degrees below zero — and the 
men were in tents with no provision against the cold. 
These tents held each two men, and were just large enough 
for two to lie. The canvas of which they were made 
seemed to me to be thin, but was, I think, always double. 
At this camp there was a house in which the men took 
their meals, but I visited other camps in which there was 
no such accommodation. I saw the German regiment 
called to its supper by tuck of drum, and the men marched 
in gallantly, armed each with a knife and spoon. I man- 
aged to make my way in at the door after them, and can 
testify to the excellence of the provisions of which their 
supper consisted. A poor diet never enters into any com- 
bination of circumstances contemplated by an American. 
Let him be where he will, animal food is with him the first 
necessary of life, and he is always provided accordingly. 
As to those Wisconsin men whom I saw, it was probable 
that they might be marched off, down South to Washington, 
or to the doubtful glories of the Western campaign under 
Fremont, before the winter commenced. The same might 
have been said of any special regiment. But taking the 
whole mass of men who were collected under canvas at the 
end of the autumn of 1861, and who were so collected 
without arms or military clothing, and without protection 
from the weather, it did seem that the task taken in hand 
by the Commissariat of the Northern army was one not 
devoid of difficulty. 

The view from Milwaukee over Lake Michigan is very 
pleasing. One looks upon a vast expanse of water to 
which the eye finds no bounds, and therefore there are 
none of the common attributes of lake beauty; but the 
color of the lake is bright, and within a walk of the city 
the traveler comes to the blufis or low round-topped hills, 



from whicli we can look down upon the shores. These 
bluffs form the beauty of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and 
relieve the eye after the flat level of Michigan. Round 
Detroit there is no rising ground, and therefore, perhaps, 
it is that Detroit is uninteresting. 

I have said that those who are called on to labor in these 
States have their own hardships, and I have endeavored to 
explain what are the sufferings to which the town laborer 
is subject. To escape from this is the laborer's great 
ambition, and his mode of doing so consists almost univer- 
sally in the purchase of land. He saves up money in order 
that he may buy a section of an allotment, and thus become 
his own master. All his savings are made with a view to 
this independence. Seated on his own land he will have to 
work probably harder than ever, but he will work for him- 
self. No task-master can then stand over him and wound 
his pride with harsh words. He will be his own master; 
will cat the food which he himself has grown, and live in 
the cabin which his own hands have built. This is the 
object of his life ; and to secure this position he is content 
to work late and early and to undergo the indignities of 
previous servitude. The government price for land is 
about five shillings an acre — one dollar and a quarter — and 
the settler may get it for this price if he be contented to 
take it not only untouched as regards clearing, but also far 
removed from any completed road. The traffic in these 
lands has been the great speculating business of Western 
men. Five or six years ago, when the rage for such pur- 
chases was at its height, land was becoming a scarce article 
in the market. Individuals or companies bought it up with 
the object of reselling it at a profit ; and many, no doubt, 
did make money. Railway companies were, in fact, com- 
panies combined for the purchase of laud. They pur- 
chased land, looking to increase the value of it fivefold by 
the opening of a railroad. It may easily be understood 
that a railway, which could not be in itself remunerative, 
might in this Avay become a lucrative speculation. No set- 
tler could dare to place himself absolutely at a distance 
from any thoroughfare. At first the margins of nature's 
highways, the navigable rivers and lakes, were cleared. But 
as the railway S3^stem grew and expanded itself, it became 
manifest that lands might be rendered quickly available 
which were not so circumstanced by nature. A company 



which had purchased an enormous territory from the United 
States government at five shillings an acre might well repay 
itself all the cost of a railway through that territory, even 
though the receipts of the railway should do no more than 
maintain the current expenses. It is in this way that the 
thousands of miles of American railroads have been opened ; 
and here again must be seen the immense advantages which 
the States as a new country have enjoyed. With us the 
purchase of valuable land for railways, together with the 
legal expenses which those compulsory purchases entailed, 
have been so great that with all our traffic railways are not 
remunerative. But in the States the railways have created 
the value of the land. The States have been able to begin 
at the right end, and to arrange that the districts which are 
benefited shall themselves pay for the benefit they receive. 

The government price of land is 125 cents, or about five 
shillings an acre ; and even this need not be paid at once if 
the settler purchase directly from the government. He 
must begin by making certain improvements on the selected 
land — clearing and cultivating some small portion, building 
a hut, and probably sinking a well. When this has been 
done — when he has thus given a pledge of his intentions 
by depositing on the land the value of a certain amount 
of labor, he cannot be removed. He cannot be removed 
for a term of years, and then if he pays the price of the 
land it becomes his own with an indefeasible title. Many 
such settlements are made on the purchase of warrants 
for land. Soldiers returning from the Mexican wars were 
donated with warrants for land — the amount being 160 
acres, or the quarter of a section. The localities of such 
lands were not specified, but the privilege granted was 
that of occupying any quarter-section not hitherto tenanted. 
It will, of course, be understood that lands favorably situ- 
ated would be tenanted. Those contiguous to railways 
were of course so occupied, seeing that the lines were not 
made till the lands were in the hands of the companies. 
It may therefore be understood of what nature would be 
the traffic in these warrants. The owner of a single war- 
rant might find it of no value to him. To go back utterly 
into the woods, away from river or road, and there to com- 
mence with 160 acres of forest, or even of prairie, would 
be a hopeless task even to an American settler. Some 
mode of transport for his produce must be found before his 



produce would be of value — before, indeed, he could find 
the means of living. But a company buying up a large 
aggregate of such warrants would possess the means of 
making such allotments valuable and of reselling them at 
greatly increased prices. 

The primary settler, therefore — who, however, will not 
usually have been the primary owner — goes to work upon 
his land amid all the wildness of nature. He levels and 
burns the first trees, and raises his first crop of corn amid 
stumps still standing four or five feet above the soil; but 
he does not do so till some mode of conveyance has been 
found for him. So much I have said hoping to explain the 
mode in which the frontier speculator paves the way for the 
frontier agriculturist. But the permanent farmer very gen- 
erally comes on the land as the third owner. The first set- 
tler is a rough fellow, and seems to be so wedded to his 
rough life that he leaves his land after his first wild work 
is done, and goes again farther off to some untouched 
allotment. He finds that he can sell his improvements at 
a profitable rate and takes the price. He is a preparer of 
farms rather than a farmer. He has no love for the soil 
which his hand has first turned. He regards it merely as 
an investment; and when things about him are beginning 
to wear an aspect of comfort, when his property has be- 
come valuable, he sells it; packs up his wife and little ones, 
and goes again into the woods. The Western American 
has no love for his own soil or his own house. The matter 
with him is simply one of dollars. To keep a farm which 
he could sell at an advantage from any feeling of affection 
— from what we should call an association of ideas — would 
be to him as ridiculous as the keeping of a family pig would 
be in an English farmer's establishment. The pig is a part 
of the farmer's stock in trade, and must go the way of all 
pigs. And so is it with house and land in the life of the 
frontier man in the Western States. 

Bat yet this man has his romance, his high poetic feel- 
ing, and above all his manly dignity. Yisit him, and you 
will find him without coat or waistcoat, unshorn, in ragged 
blue trowsers and old flannel shirt, too often bearing on his 
lantern jaws the signs of ague and sickness; but he will 
stand upright before you and speak to you with all the 
ease of a lettered gentleman in his own library. All the 
odious incivilit/ of the republican servant has been ban- 




ished. He is his own master, standing on his own threshold, 
and finds no need to assert his equality by rudeness. He 
is delip^hted to see you, and bids you sit down on his bat- 
tered bench without dreaming of any such apology as an 
English cottier offers to a Lady Bountiful when she calls. 
He has worked out his independence, and shows it in every 
easy movement of his body. He tells you of it uncon- 
sciously in every tone of his voice. You will always find 
in his cabin some newspaper, some book, some token of 
advance in education. When he questions you about the 
old country he astonishes you by the extent of his knowl- 
edge. I defy you not to feel that he is superior to the 
race from whence he has sprung in England or in Ireland. 
To me I confess that the manliness of such a man is very 
charming. He is dirty, and, perhaps, squalid. His chil- 
dren are sick and he is without comforts. His wife is pale, 
and you think you see shortness of life written in the faces 
of all the family. But over and above it all there is an 
Independence which sits gracefully on their shoulders, and 
teaches you at the first glance that the man has a right to 
assume himself to be your equal. It is for this position 
that the laborer works, bearing hard words and the indig- 
nity of tyranny; suffering also tot) often the dishonest ill 
usage which his superior power enables the master to 

" I have lived very rough," I heard a poor woman say, 
whose husband had ill used and deserted her. " I have 
known what it is to be hungry and cold, and to work hard 
till my bones have ached. I only wish that I might 
have the same chance again. If I could have ten acres 
cleared two miles away from any living being, I could be 
happy with my children. I find a kind of comfort when I 
am at work from daybreak to sundown, and know that it is 
all my own." I believe that life in the backwoods has an 
allurement to those who have been used to it that dwellers 
in cities can hardly comprehend. 

From Milwaukee we went across Wisconsin, and reached 
the Mississippi at La Crosse. From hence, according to 
agreement, we were to start by steamer at once up the river. 
But we were delayed again, as had happened to us before 
on Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. 





It had been promised to us that we should start from La 
Crosse by the river steamer immediately on our arrival 
there ; but, on reaching La Crosse, we found that the ves- 
sel destined to take us up the river had not yet come down. 
She was bringing a regiment from Minnesota, and, under 
such circumstances, some pardon might be extended to ir- 
regularities. This plea was made by one of the boat clerks 
in a very humble tone, and was fully accepted by us. 
The wonder was that, at such a period, all means of public 
conveyance were not put absolutely out of gear. One might 
surmise that when regiments were constantly being moved 
for the purposes of civil war — when the whole North had 
but the one object of collecting together a sufficient number 
of men to crush the South — ordinary traveling for ordinary 
purposes would be difficult, slow, and subject to sudden 
stoppages. Such, however, was not the case either in the 
Northern or Western States. The trains ran much as usual, 
and those connected with the boats and railways were just 
as anxious as ever to secure passengers. The boat clerk at 
La Crosse apologized amply for the delay ; and we sat our- 
selves down with patience to await the arrival of the second 
Minnesota Regiment on its way to Washington. 

During the four hours that we were kept waiting we were 
harbored on board a small steamer; and at about eleven 
the terribly harsh whistle that is made by the Mississippi 
boats informed us that the regiment was arriving. It came 
up to the quay in two steamers — 150 being brought in that 
which was to take us back, and 250 in a smaller one. The 
moon was very bright, and great flaming torches were lit 
on the vessel's side, so that all the operations of the men 
were visible. The two steamers had run close up, thrusting 
us away from the quay in their passage, but doing it so 
gently that we did not even feel the motion. These large 
boats — and their size may be understood from the fact that 



one of them had just brought clown 150 men — are moved 
so easily and so gently that they come gliding in among 
each other without hesitation and without pause. On Eng- 
lish waters we do not willingly run ships against each other; 
and when we do so unwillingly, they bump and crush and 
crash upon each other, and timbers fly while men are swear- 
ing. But here there was neither crashing nor swearing ; 
and the boats noiselessly pressed against each other as 
though they were cased in muslin and crinoline. 

I got out upon the quay and stood close by the plank, 
watching each man as he left the vessel and walked across 
toward the railway. Those whom I had previously seen in 
tents were not equipped ; but these men were in uniform, 
and each bore his musket. Taking them altogether, they 
were as fine a set of men as I ever saw collected. No man 
could doubt, on seeing them, that they bore on their coun- 
tenances the signs of higher breeding and better education 
than would be seen in a thousand men enlisted in England. 
I do not mean to argue from this that Americans are bettei> 
than English. I do not mean to argue here that they are 
even better educated. My assertion goes to show that the 
men generally were taken from a higher level in the com- 
munity than that which fills our own ranks. It was a mat- 
ter of regret to me, here and on many subsequent occasions, 
to see men bound for three years to serve as common sol- 
diers who were so manifestly fitted for a better and more 
useful life. To me it is always a source of sorrow to see a 
man enlisted. I feel that the individual recruit is doing 
badly with himself — carrying himself, and the strength and 
intelligence which belong to him, to a bad market. I know 
that there must be soldiers; but as to every separate soldier 
I regret that he should be one of them. And the higher 
is the class from which such soldiers are drawn, the greater 
the intelligence of the men so to be employed, the deeper 
with me is that feeling of regret. But this strikes one much 
less in an old country than in a country that is new. In the 
old countries population is thick and food sometimes scarce. 
Men can be spared ; and any employment may be servicea- 
ble, even though that employment be in itself so unproduct- 
ive as that of fighting battles or preparing for them. But 
in the Western States of America every arm that can guide 
a plow is of incalculable value. Minnesota was admitted 
as a State about three years before this time, and its whole 



population is not much above 150,000. Of this number 
perhaps 40,000 may be working men. And now this infant 
State, with its huge territory and scanty population, is 
called upon to send its heart's blood out to the war. 

And it has sent its heart's best blood. Forth they came 
— fine, stalwart, well-grown fellows — looking, to my eye, as 
though they had as yet but faintly recognized the necessary 
severity of military discipline. To them hitherto the war 
had seemed to be an arena on which each might do some- 
thing for his country which that country would recognize. 
To themselves as yet — and to me also — they were a band 
of heroes, to be reduced by the compressing power of mili- 
tary discipline to the lower level, but more necessary posi- 
tion, of a regiment of soldiers. Ah, me ! how terrible to 
them has been the breaking up of that delusion ! When a 
poor yokel in England is enlisted with a shilling and a prom- 
ise of unlimited beer and glory, one pities, and, if possible, 
would save him. But with him the mode of life to which 
he goes may not be much inferior to that he leaves. It may 
be that for him soldiering is the best trade possible in his 
circumstances. It may keep him from the hen-roosts, and 
perhaps from his neighbors' pantries ; and discipline may 
be good for him. Population is thick with us ; and there 
are many whom it may be well to collect and make avail- 
able under the strictest surveillance. But of these men 
whom I saw entering on their career upon the banks of the 
Mississippi, many were fathers of families, many were own- 
ers of lands, many were educated men capable of high 
aspirations — all were serviceable members of their State. 
There were probably there not three or four of whom it 
would be well that the State should be rid. As soldiers, 
fit or capable of being made fit for the duties they had un- 
dertaken, I could find but one fault with them. Their aver- 
age age was too high. There were men among them with 
grizzled beards, and many who had counted thirty, thirty- 
five, and forty years. They had, I believe, devoted them.- 
selves with a true spirit of patriotism. No doubt each had 
some ulterior hope as to himself, as has every mortal pa- 
triot. Regulus, when he returned hopeless to Carthage, 
trusted that some Horace would tell his story. Each of 
these men from Minnesota looked probably forward to his 
reward; but the reward desired was of a high class. 

The first great misery to be endured by these regiments 



will be the military lesson of obedience which they must 
learn before they can be of any service. It always seemed 
to me, when I came near them, that they had not as yet 
recognized the necessary austerity of an -officer's duty. Their 
idea of a captain was the stage idea of a leader of dramatic 
banditti — a man to be followed and obeyed as a leader, but 
to be obeyed with that free and easy obedience which is ac- 
corded to the reigning chief of the forty thieves. "Waal, 
captain," I have heard a private say to his officer, as he sat 
on one seat in a railway car, with his feet upon the back of 
another. And the captain has looked as though he did not 
like it. The captain did not like it ; but the poor private 
was being fast carried to that destiny which he would like 
still less. From the first I have had faith in the Northern 
army; but from the first I have felt that the suffering to be 
endured by these free and independent volunteers would be 
very great. A man, to be available as a private soldier, 
must be compressed and belted in till he be a machine. 

As soon as the men had left the vessel we walked over 
the side of it and took possession. I am afraid your 
cabin won't be ready for a quarter of an hour," said the 
clerk. " Such a body of men as that will leave some dirt 
after them." I assured him, of course, that our expecta- 
tions under such circumstances were very limited, and that 
I was fully aware that the boat and the boat's company 
were taken up with matters of greater moment than the 
carriage of ordinary passengers. But to this he demurred 
altogether. " The regiments were very little to them, but occa- 
sioned much trouble. Everything, however, should be square 
in fifteen minutes." At the expiration of the time named 
the key of our state-room was given to us, and we found the 
appurtenances as clean as though no soldier had ever put 
his foot upon the vessel. 

From La Crosse to St. Paul the distance up the river is 
something over 200 miles ; and from St. Paul down to Du- 
buque in Iowa, to which we went on our return, the distance 
is 450 miles. We were, therefore, for a considerable time 
on board these boats — more so than such a journey may 
generally make necessary, as we were delayed at first by the 
soldiers, and afterward by accidents, such as the breaking 
of a paddle-wheel, and other causes, to which navigation on 
the Upper Mississippi seems to be liable. On the whole, 
we slept on board four nights, and lived on board as many 



days. I cannot say that the life was comfortable, though I 
do not know that it could be made more so by any care on 
the part of the boat owners. My first complaint would be 
against the great heat of the cabins. The Americans, as a 
rule, live in an atmosphere which is almost unbearable by 
an Englishman. To this cause, I am convinced, is to be 
attributed tlieir thin faces, their pale skins, their unener- 
getic temperament — unenergetic as regards physical motion 
— and their early old age. The winters are long and cold 
in America, and mechanical ingenuity is far extended. 
These two facts together have created a system of stoves, 
hot-air pipes, steam chambers, and heating apparatus so 
extensive that, from autumn till the end of spring, all in- 
habited rooms are filled with the atmosphere of a hot oven. 
An Englishman fancies that he is to be baked, and for 
awhile finds it almost impossible to exist in the air prepared 
for him. How the heat is engendered on board the river 
steamers I do not know, but it is engendered to so great a 
degree that the sitting-cabins are unendurable. The pa- 
tient is therefore driven out at all hours into the outside 
balconies of the boat, or on to the top roof — for it is a roof 
rather than a deck — and there, as he passes through the air 
at the rate of twenty miles an hour, finds himself chilled to 
the very bones. That is my first complaint. But as the 
boats are made for Americans, and as Americans like hot 
air, I do not put it forward with any idea that a change 
ought to be effected. My second complaint is equally un- 
reasonable, and is quite as incapable of a remedy as the 
first. Nine-tenths of the travelers carry children with them. 
They are not tourists engaged on pleasure excursions, but 
men and women intent on the business of life. They are 
moving up and down looking for fortune and in search of 
new homes. Of course they carry with them all their house- 
hold gods. Do not let any critic say that I grudge these 
young travelers their right to locomotion. Neither their 
right to locomotion is grudged by me, nor any of those 
privileges which are accorded in America to the rising gen- 
eration. The habits of their country and the choice of 
tlieir parents give to them full dominion over all hours and 
over all places, and it would ill become a foreigner to make 
such habits and such choice a ground of serious complaint. 
But, nevertheless, the uncontrolled energies of twenty chil- 
dren round one's legs do not convey comfort or happiness, 



when the passing events are producing noise and storm 
rather than peace and sunshine. I must protest that Amer- 
ican babies are an unliappy race. They eat and drink just 
as they please ; they are never punished ; they are never 
banished, snubbed, and kept in the background as children 
are kept with us, and yet they are wretched and uncomfort- 
able. My heart has bled for them as I have heard them 
squalling by the hour together in agonies of discontent and 
dyspepsia. Can it be, I wonder, that children are happier 
when they are made to obey orders, and are sent to bed at 
six o'clock, than when allowed to regulate their own con- 
duct ; that bread and milk are more favorable to laughter 
and soft, childish ways than beef-steaks and pickles three 
times a day; that an occasional whipping, even, will con- 
duce to rosy cheeks ? It is an idea which I should never 
dare to broach to an American mother ; but I must confess 
that, after my travels on the Western Continent, my opin- 
ions have a tendency in that direction. Beef-steaks and 
pickles certainly produce smart little men and women. Let 
that be taken for granted. But rosy laughter and winning, 
childish ways are, I fancy, the produce of bread and milk. 
But there was a third reason why traveling on these boats 
was not so pleasant as I had expected. I could not get my 
fellow-travelers to talk to me. It must be understood that 
our fellow-travelers were not generally of that class which 
we Englishmen, in our pride, designate as gentlemen and 
ladies. They were people, as I have said, in search of new 
homes and new fortunes. But I protest that as such they 
would have been, in those parts, much more agreeable as 
companions to me than any gentlemen or any ladies, if only 
they would have talked to me. I do not accuse them of 
any incivility. If addressed, they answered me. If appli^ 
cation was made by me for any special information, trouble 
was taken to give it me. But I found no aptitude, no wish 
for conversation — nay, even a disinclination to converse. 
In the Western States I do not think that I was ever ad- 
dressed lirst by an American sitting next to mc at table. 
Indeed, I never held any conversation at a public table in 
the West. I have sat in the same room with men for hours, 
and have not had a word spoken to me. I have done ray 
very best to break through this ice, and have always failed. 
A Western American man is not a talking man. He will 
sit for hours over a stove, with a cigar in his mouth and his 



hat over liis eyes, chewing the cud of reflection. A dozen 
will sit together in the same way, and there shall not be a 
dozen words spoken between them in an hour. With the 
women one's chance of conversation is still worse. It 
seemed as though the cares of the world had been too much 
for them, and that all talking excepting as to business — de- 
mands, for instance, on the servants for pickles for their 
children — had gone by the board. They were generally 
hard, dry, and melancholy. I am speaking, of course, of 
aged females — from live and twenty, perhaps, to thirty — 
who had long since given up the amusements and levities 
of life. I very soon abandoned any attempt at drawing a 
word from these ancient mothers of families ; but not the 
less did I ponder in my mind over the circumstances of 
their lives. Had things gone with them so sadly — was the 
struggle for independence so hard — that all the softness of 
existence had been trodden out of them ? In the cities, 
too, it was much the same. It seemed to me that a future 
mother of a family, in those parts, had left all laughter be- 
hind her when she put out her finger for the wedding ring. 

For these reasons I must say that life on board these 
steamboats was not as pleasant as I had hoped to find it ; 
but for our discomfort in this respect we found great atone- 
ment in the scenery through which we passed. I protest 
that of all the river scenery that I know that of the Upper 
Mississippi is by far the finest and the most continued. 
One thinks, of course, of the Rhine ; but, according to my 
idea of beauty, the Rhine is nothing to the Upper Missis- 
sippi. For miles upon miles — for hundreds of miles — the 
course of the river runs through low hills, which are there 
called bluffs. These bluffs rise in every imaginable form, 
looking sometimes like large, straggling, unwieldy castles, 
and then throwing themselves into sloping lawns which 
stretch back away from the river till the eye is lost in their 
twists and turnings. Landscape beauty, as I take it, con- 
sists mainly in four attributes — in water ; in broken land ; 
in scattered timber, timber scattered as opposed to continu- 
ous forest timber ; and in the accident of color. In all these 
particulars the banks of the Upper Mississippi can hardly 
be beaten. There are no high mountains ; but high mount- 
ains themselves are grand rather than beautiful. There are 
no high mountains ; but there is a succession of hills, which 
group themselves forever without monotony. It is, perhaps, 


the ever-variegated forms of these bliifiFs which chiefly con- 
stitute the wonderful loveliness of this river. The idea 
constantly occurs that some point on every hillside would 
form the most charming site ever yet chosen for a noble 
residence. I have passed up and down rivers clothed to 
the edge with continuous forest. This at first is grand 
enough, but the eye and feeling soon become weary. Here 
the trees are scattered so that the eye passes through them, 
and ever and again a long Isbwu sweeps back into the coun- 
try and up the steep side of a hill, making the traveler long 
to stay there and linger through the oaks, and climb the 
blulfs, and lay about on the bold but easy summits. The 
boat, however, steams quickly up against the current, and 
the happy valleys are left behind one quickly after another. 
The river is very various in its breadth, and is constantly 
divided by islands. It is never so broad that the beauty of 
the banks is lost in the distance or injured by it. It is 
rapid, but has not the beautifully bright color of some Eu- 
ropean rivers — of the Rhine, for instance, and the Rhone. 
But what is wanting in the color of the water is more than 
compensated by the wonderful hues and luster of the shores. 
We visited the river in October, and I must presume that 
they who seek it solely for the sake of scenery should go 
there in that month. It was not only that the foliage of 
the trees was bright with every imaginable color, but that 
the grass was bronzed and that the rocks were golden. 
And this beauty did not last only for awhile, and then 
cease. On the Rhine there are lovely spots and special 
morsels of scenery with which the traveler becomes duly 
enraptured. But on the Upper Mississippi there are no 
special morsels. The position of the sun in the heavens 
will, as it always does, make much difference in the degree 
of beauty. The hour before and the half hour after sunset 
are always the loveliest for such scenes. But of the shores 
themselves one may declare that they are lovely throughout 
those four hundred miles which run immediately south from 
St. Paul 

About half way between La Crosse and St. Paul we 
came upon Lake Pepin, and continued our course up the 
lake for perhaps fifty or sixty miles. This expanse of water 
is narrow for a lake, and, by those who know the lower 
courses of great rivers, would hardly be dignified by that 
name. But, nevertheless, the breadth here lessens the 



beauty. There are the same bluffs, the same scattered 
woodlands, and the same colors. But they are either at a 
distance, or else they are to be seen on one side only. The 
more that I see of the beauty of scenery, and the more I 
consider its elements, the stronger becomes my conviction 
that size has but little to do with it, and rather detracts from 
it than adds to it. Distance gives one of its greatest 
charms, but it does so by concealing rather than displaying 
an expanse of surface. The beauty of distance arises from 
the romance, the feeling of mystery which it creates. It is 
like the beauty of woman, which allures the more the more 
that it is vailed. But open, uncovered land and water, mount- 
ains which simply rise to great heights, with long, unbroken 
slopes, wide expanses of lake, and forests which are monot- 
onous in their continued thickness, are never lovely to me. 
A landscape should always be partly vailed, and display 
only half its charms. 

To my taste the finest stretch of the river was that im- 
mediately above Lake Pepin ; but then, at this point, we 
had all the glory of the setting sun. It was like fairy-land, 
so bright were the golden hues, so fantastic were the shapes 
of the hills, so broken and twisted the course of the waters ! 
But the noisy steamer went groaning up the narrow pas- 
sages with almost unabated speed, and left the fairy land 
behind all too quickly. Then the bell would ring for tea, 
and the children with the beef-steaks, the pickled onions, 
and the light fixings would all come over again. The care- 
laden mothers would tuck the bibs under the chins of their 
tyrant children, and some embryo senator of four years old 
would listen with concentrated attention while the negro 
servant recapitulated to him the delicacies of the supper- 
table, in order that he might make his choice with due con- 
sideration. "Beef-steak," the embryo four-year old senator 
would lisp, "and stewed potato, and buttered toast, and 
corn-cake, and coffee, — and — and — and — mother, mind you 
get me the pickles." 

St. Paul enjoys the double privilege of being the com- 
mercial and political capital of Minnesota. The same is 
the case with Boston, in Massachusetts, but I do not re- 
member another instance in which it is so. It is built on 
the eastern bank of the Mississippi, though the bulk of the 
State lies to the west of the river. It is noticeable as the 
spot up to which the river is navigable. Immediately 



above St. Paul there are narrow rapids up which no boat 
can pass. North of this continuous navigation does not 
go ; but from St. Paul down to New Orleans and the Gulf 
of Mexico it is uninterrupted. The distance to St. Louis 
in Missouri, a town built below the confluence of the tliree 
rivers, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois, is 900 miles; 
and then the navigable waters down to the Gulf wash a 
southern country of still greater extent. No river on the 
face of the globe forms a highway for the produce of so 
wide an extent of agricultural land. The Mississippi, with 
its tributaries, carried to market, before the war, the pro- 
duce of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, 
Ohio, Kentuclvy, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, 
Mississippi, and Louisiana. This country is larger than 
England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, France, Ger- 
many, and Spain together, and is undoubtedly composed of 
much more fertile land. The States named comprise the 
great center valley of the continent, and are the farming 
lands and garden grounds of the Western World. He who 
has not seen corn on the ground in Illinois or Minnesota, 
does not know to what extent the fertility of land may go, 
or how great may be the weight of cereal crops. And for 
all this the Mississippi was the high-road to market. When 
the crop of 1861 was garnered, this high-road was stopped 
by the war. What suffering this entailed on the South I 
will not here stop to say, but on the West the effect was 
terrible. Corn was in such plenty — Indian-corn, that is, 
or maize — that it was not worth the farmer's while to pre- 
pare it for market. When I was in Illinois, the second 
quality of Indian-corn, when shelled, was not worth more 
than from eight to ten cents a bushel. But the shelling and 
preparation is laborious, and in some instances it was found 
better to burn it for fuel than to sell it. Respecting the 
export of corn from the West, I must say a further word or 
two in the next chapter ; but it seemed to be indispensable 
that I should point out here how great to the United States 
is the need of the Mississippi. Nor is it for corn and 
wheat only that its waters are needed. Timber, lead, iron, 
coal, pork — all find, or should find, their exit to the world at 
large by this road. There are towns on it, and on its trib- 
utaries, already holding more than one hundred and fifty 
thousand inhabitants. The number of Cincinnati exceeds 
that, as also does the number of St. Louis. Under these 



circumstances it is not wonderful that tlie States should 
wish to keep in their own hands the navigation of this 

It is not wonderful. But it will not, I think, be admit- 
ted by the politicians of the world that the navigation of 
the Mississippi need be closed against the West, even though 
the Southern States should succeed in raising themselves to 
the power and dignity of a separate nationality. It the 
waters of the Danube be not open to Austria, it is through 
the fault of Austria. That the subject will be one of trou- 
ble, no man can doubt; and of course it would be well for 
the North to avoid that, or any other trouble. In the mean 
time the importance of this right of way must be admitted; 
and it must be admitted, also, that whatever may be the 
ultimate resolve of the North, it will be very difficult to 
reconcile the West to a divided dominion of the Missis- 

St. Paul contains about 14,000 inhabitants, and, like all 
other American towns, is spread over a surface of ground 
adapted to the accommodation of a very extended popula- 
tion. As it is belted on one side by the river, and on the 
other by the bluffs which accompany the course of the 
river, the site is pretty, and almost romantic. Here also 
we found a great hotel, a huge, square building, such as we 
in England might perhaps place near to a railway terminus 
in such a city as Glasgow or Manchester, but on which no 
living Englishman would expend his money in a town even 
five times as big again as St. Paul. Everything was suffi- 
ciently good, and much more than sufficiently plentiful. The 
whole thing went on exactly as hotels do down in Massa- 
chusetts or the State of New York. Look at the map and 
see where St. Paul is. Its distance from all known civili- 
zation — all civilization that has succeeded in obtaining ac- 
quaintance with the world at large — is very great. Even 
American travelers do not go up there in great numbers, 
excepting those who intend to settle there. A stray sports- 
man or two, American or English, as the case may be, 
makes his way into Minnesota for the sake of shooting, and 
pushes on up through St. Paul to the Red River. Some 
few adventurous spirits visit the Indian settlements, and 
pass over into the unsettled regions of Dacotah and Wash- 
ington Territory. But there is no throng of traveling. 
Nevertheless, a hotel has been built there capable of hold- 




ing three hundred guests, and other hotels exist in the 
neighborhood, one of which is even larger than that at St. 
Paul. AVho can come to them, and create even a hope that 
such an enterprise may be remunerative? In America it is 
seldom more than hope, for one always hears that such 
enterprises fail. 

"\^ hen I was there the war was in hand, and it was hardly 
to be expected that any hotel should succeed. The landlord 
told me that he held it at the present time for a very low 
rent, and that he could just manage to keep it open without 
loss. The war which hindered people from traveling, and 
in that way injured the innkeepers, also hindered people 
from housekeeping, and reduced them to the necessity of 
boarding out, by which the innkeepers were of course ben- 
efited. At St. Paul I found that the majority of the guests 
were inhabitants of the town, boarding at the hotel, and 
thus dispensing with the cares of a separate establishment. 
I do not know what was charged for such accommodation 
at St, Paul, but I have come across large houses at which 
a single man could get all that he required for a dollar a 
day. Now Americans are great consumers, especially at 
hotels, and all that a man requires includes three hot meals, 
with a choice from about two dozen dishes at each. 

From St. Paul there are two waterfalls to be seen, which 
we, of course, visited. We crossed the river at Fort Snell- 
ing, a rickety, ill-conditioned building standing at the con- 
fluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, built 
there to repress the Indians. It is, I take it, very neces- 
sary, especially at the present moment, as the Indians seem 
to require repressing. They have learned that the atten- 
tion of the Federal government has been called to the war, 
and have become bold in consequence. When I was at St. 
Paul I heard of a party of Englishmen who had been 
robbed of everything they possessed, and was informed 
that the farmers in the distant parts of the State were by 
no means secure. The Indians are more to be pitied than 
the farmers. They are turning against enemies who will 
neither forgive nor forget any injuries done. When the 
war is over they will be improved, and polished, and an- 
nexed, till no Indian will hold an acre of land in Minne- 
sota. At present Fort Siielling is the nucleus of a recruiting 
camp. On the point between the bluffs of the two rivers 
there is a plain, immediately in front of the fort, and there 



we saw the newly-joined Minnesota recruits going through 
their first military exercises. They were in detachments 
of twenties, and were rude enough at their goose step. 
The matter which struck me most in looking at them was 
the difference of condition which I observed in the men. 
There were the country lads, fresh from the farms, such as 
we see following the recruiting sergeant through English 
towns; but there were also men in black coats and black 
trowsers, with thin boots, and trimmed beards — beards 
which had been trimmed till very lately; and some of them 
with beards which showed that they were no longer young. 
It was inexpressibly melancholy to see such men as these 
twisting and turning about at the corporal's word, each 
handling some stick in his hand in lieu of weapon. Of 
course, they were more awkward than the boys, even 
though they were twice more assiduous in their efforts. 
Of course, they were sad and wretched. I saw men there 
that were very wretched — all but heart-broken, if one 
might judge from their faces. They should not have been 
there handling sticks, and moving their unaccustomed legs 
in cramped paces. They were as razors, for which no bet- 
ter purpose could be found than the cutting of blocks. 
When such attempts are made the block is not cut, but the 
razor is spoiled. Most unlit for the commencement of a 
soldier's life were some that I saw there, but I do not doubt 
that they had been attracted to the work by the one idea 
of doing something for their country in its trouble. 

From Fort Snelling we went on to the Falls of Minne- 
haha. Minnehaha, laughing water. Such, I believe, is the 
interpretation. The name in this case is more imposing 
than the fall. It is a pretty little cascade, and might do 
for a picnic in fine weather, but it is not a waterfall of 
which a man can make much when found so far away from 
home. Going on from Minnehaha we came to Minne- 
apolis, at which place there is a fine suspension bridge 
across the river, just above the falls of St. Anthony and 
leading to the town of that name. Till I got there I 
could hardly believe that in these days there should be a 
living village called Minneapolis by living men. I pre- 
sume I should describe it as a town, for it has a munici- 
pality, and a post-ofQce, and, of course, a large hotel. The 
interest of the place, however, is in the saw-mills. On the 
opposite side of the water, at St. Anthony, is another very 



large hotel — and also a smaller one. The smaller one may 
be about the size of the lirst-elass hotels at Cheltenham or 
Leamington. They were botli closed, and there seemed to 
be but little prospect that either would be opened till the 
war should be over. The saw-mills, however, were at full 
work, and to ray eyes were extremely picturesque. I had 
been told that the beauty of the falls had been destroyed 
by the mills. Indeed, all who had spoken to me about St. 
Anthony had said so. But I did not agree with them. 
Here, as at Ottawa, the charm in fact consists, not in an 
uninterrupted shoot of water, but io a succession of rapids 
over a bed of broken rocks. Among these rocks logs of 
loose timber are caught, which have escaped from their 
proper courses, and here they lie, heaped up in some places, 
and constructing themselves into bridges in others, till the 
freshets of the spring carry them off. The timber is gen- 
erally brought down in logs to St. Anthony, is sawn there, 
and then sent down the Mississippi in large rafts. These 
rafts on other rivers are, I think, generally made of un- 
sawn timber. Such logs as have escaped in the manner 
above described are recognized on their passage down the 
river by their marks, and are made up separately, the orig- 
inal owners receiving the value — or not receiving it as the 
case may be. "There is quite a trade going on with the 
loose lumber," my informant told me. And from his tone I 
was led to suppose that he regarded the trade as suflQciently 
lucrative, if not peculiarly honest. 

There is very much in the mode of life adopted by the 
settlers in these regions which creates admiration. The 
people are all intelligent. They are energetic and specula- 
tive, conceiving grand ideas, and carrying them out almost 
with the rapidity of magic. A suspension bridge half a 
mile long is erected, while in England we should be fasten- 
ing together a few planks for a foot passage. Progress, 
mental as well as material, is the demand of the people 
generally. Everybody understands everything, and every- 
body intends sooner or later to do everything. All this is 
very grand; but then there is a terrible drawback. One 
hears on every side of intelligence, but one hears also on 
every side of dishonesty. Talk to whom you will, of 
whom you will, and you will hear some tale of successful 
or unsuccessful swindling. It seems to be the recognized 
rule of commerce in the far West that men shall go into 


the world's markets prepared to cheat and to be cheated. 
It may be said that as long as this is acknowledged and 
understood on all sides, no harm will be done. It is equally 
fair for all. When I was a child there used to be certain 
games at which it was agreed in beginning either that 
there should be cheating or that there should not. It may 
be said that out there in the Western States, men agree to 
play the cheating game; and that the cheating game has 
more of interest in it than the other. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, they who agree to play this game on a large scale do 
not keep outsiders altogether out of the playground. In- 
deed, outsiders become very welcome to them; and then it 
is not pleasant to hear the tone in which such outsiders 
speak of the peculiarities of the sport to which they have 
been introduced. When a beginner in trade finds himself 
furnished with a barrel of wooden nutmegs, the joke is not 
so good to him as to the experienced merchant who sup- 
plies him. This dealing in wooden nutmegs, this selling 
of things which do not exist, and buying of goods for 
which no price is ever to be given, is an institution which 
is much honored in the West. We call it swindling — and 
so do they. But it seemed to me that in the Western 
States the word hardly seemed to leave the same impress 
on the mind that it does elsewhere. 

On our return down the river we passed La Crosse, at 
which we had embarked, and went down as far as Dubuque 
in Iowa. On our way down we came to grief and broke 
one of our paddle-wheels to pieces. We had no special 
accident. We struck against nothing above or below 
water. But the wheel went to pieces, and we laid to on 
the river side for the greater part of a day while the neces- 
sary repairs were being made. Delay in traveling is usually 
an annoyance, because it causes the unsettlement cf a set- 
tled purpose. But the loss of the day did us no harm, and 
our accident had happened at a very pretty spot. I climbed 
up to the top of the nearest bluff, and walked back till I 
came to the open country, and also went up and down the 
river banks, visiting the cabins of two settlers who live 
there by supplying wood to the river steamers. One of 
these was close to the spot at which we were lying; and 
yet though most of our passengers came on shore, I was 
the only one who spoke to the inmates of the cabin. These 
people must live there almost in desolation from one year's 




end to another. Once in a fortnight or so they go up to a 
market town in their small boats, but beyond that they can 
have little intercourse with their fellow-creatures. Never- 
theless none of these dwellers by the river side came out to 
speak to the men and women who were lounging about 
from eleven in the morning till four in the afternoon ; nor 
did one of the passengers, except myself, knock at the door 
or enter the cabin, or exchange a word with those who 
lived there. 

I spoke to the master of the house, whom I met outside, 
and he at once asked me to come in and sit down. I found 
his father there and his mother, his wife, his brother, and 
two young children. The wife, who was cooking, was a 
very pretty, pale young woman, who, however, could have 
circulated round her stove more conveniently had her crino- 
line been of less dimensions. She bade me welcome very 
prettily, and went on with her cooking, talking the while, 
as though she were in the habit of entertaining guests in 
that way daily. The old woman sat in a corner knitting — 
as old women always do. The old man lounged with a 
grandchild on his knee, and the master of the house threw 
himself on the floor while the other child crawled over him. 
There was no stiffness or uneasiness in their manners, nor 
was there anything approaching to that republican rough- 
ness which so often operates upon a poor, well-intending 
Englishman like a slap on the cheek. I sat there for about 
an hour, and when I had discussed with them English 
politics and the bearing of English politics upon the Amer- 
ican war, they told me of their own affairs. Food was very 
plenty, but life was very hard. Take the year through, each 
man could not earn above half a dollar a day by cutting 
wood. This, however, they owned, did not take up all 
their time. Working on favorable wood on favorable days 
they could each earn two dollars a day; but these favor- 
able circumstances did not come together very often. They 
did not deal with the boats themselves, and the profits were 
eaten up by the middleman. He, the middleman, had a 
good thing of it, because he could cheat the captains of the 
boats in the measurement of the wood. The chopper was 
obliged to supply a genuine cord of logs — true measure. 
But the man who took it off in the barge to the steamer 
could so pack it that fifteen true cords would make twenty- 
two false cords. "It cuts up into a fine trade, you see, 



sir," said tlie young man, as he stroked back the little girl's 
hair from her forehead. "But the captains of course must 
find it out," said I. This lie acknowledged, but argued 
that the captains on this account insisted on buying the 
wood so much cheaper, and that the loss all came upon the 
chopper. I tried to teach him that the remedy lay in his 
own hands, and the three men listened to me quite patiently 
while I explained to them how they should carry on their 
own trade. But the young father had the last word. "I 
guess we don't get above the fifty cents a day any way." 
He knew at least where the shoe pinched him. He was a 
handsome, manly, noble-looking fellow, tall and thin, with 
black hair and bright eyes. But he had the hollow look 
about his jaws, and so had his wife, and so had his brother. 
They all owned to fever and ague. They had a touch of it 
most years, and sometimes pretty sharply. "It was a coarse 
place to live in," the old woman said, "but there was no 
one to meddle with them, and she guessed that it suited." 
They had books and newspapers, tidy delf, and clean glass 
upon their shelves, and undoubtedly provisions in plenty. 
Whether fever and ague yearly, and cords of wood stretched 
from fifteen to twenty-two are more than a set-off for these 
good things, I will leave every one to decide according to 
his own taste. 

In another cabin I found women and children only, and 
one of the children was in the last stage of illness. But 
nevertheless the woman of the house seemed glad to see me, 
and talked cheerfully as long as I would remain. She in- 
quired what had happened to the vessel, but it had never 
occurred to her to go out and see. Her cabin was neat and 
well furnished, and there also I saw newspapers and Har- 
per's everlasting magazine. She said it was a coarse, des- 
olate place for living, but that she could raise almost any- 
thing in her garden. 

I could not then understand, nor can I now understand, 
why none of the numerous passengers out of the boat 
should have entered those cabins except myself, and why 
the inmates of the cabins should not have come out to speak 
to any one. Had they been surly, morose people, made 
silent by the specialties of their life, it would have been ex- 
plicable ; but they were delighted to talk and to listen. The 
fact, I take it, is that the people are all harsh to each other. 
They do not care to go out of their way to speak to any 



one unless something is to be gained. They say that two 
Englishmen meeting in the desert would not speak unless 
they were introduced. The farther I travel the less true 
do I find this of Englishmen, and the more true of other 



We stopped at the Julien House, Dubuque. Dubuque 
is a city in Iowa, on the western shore of the Mississippi, 
and as the names both of the town and of the hotel sounded 
French in my ears, I asked for an explanation. I was then 
told that Julien Dubuque, a Canadian Frenchman, had been 
buried on one of the bluffs of the river within the precincts 
of the present town ; that he had been the first white set- 
tler in Iowa, and had been the only man who had ever pre- 
vailed upon the Indians to work. Among them he had 
become a great " Medicine," and seems for awhile to have 
had absolute power over them. He died, I think, in 1800, 
and was buried on one of the hills over the river. "He 
was a bold, bad man," my informant told me, "and com- 
mitted every sin under heaven. But he made the Indians 

Lead mines are the glory of Dubuque, and very large 
sums of money have been made from them. I was taken 
out to see one of them, and to go down it; but we found, 
not altogether to my sorrow, that the works had been 
stopped on account of the water. No effort has been made 
in any of these mines to subdue the water, nor has steam 
been applied to the working of them. The lodes have been 
so rich with lead that the speculators have been content to 
take out the metal that was easily reached, and to go off in 
search of fresh ground when disturbed by water. "And 
are wages here paid pretty punctually?" I asked. "Well, 
a man has to be smart, you know." And then my friend 



went on to acknowledge that it would be better for the 
country if smartness were not so essential. 

Iowa has a population of 674,000 souls, and in October, 
1861, had already mustered eighteen regiments of one thou- 
sand men each. Such a population would give probably 
170,000 men capable of bearing arms, and therefore the 
number of soldiers sent had already amounted to more than 
a decimation of the available strength of the State. When 
we were at Dubuque, nothing was talked of but the army. 
It seemed that mines, coal-pits, and corn-fields were all of 
no account in comparison with the war. How many regi- 
ments could be squeezed out of the State, was the one ques- 
tion which filled all minds ; and the general desire was that 
such regiments should be sent to the Western army, to swell 
the triumph which was still expected for General Fremont, 
and to assist in sweeping slavery out into the Gulf of Mex- 
ico. The patriotism of the West has been quite as keen 
as that of the North, and has produced results as mem- 
orable ; but it has sprung from a different source, and been 
conducted and animated by a different sentiment. National 
greatness and support of the law have been the idea of the 
North; national greatness and abolition of slavery have 
been those of the West. How they are to agrae as to 
terms when between them they have crushed the South — 
that is the difficulty. 

At Dubuque in Iowa, I ate the best apple that I ever 
encountered. I make that statement with the purpose of 
doing justice to the Americans on a matter which is to them 
one of considerable importance. Americans, as a rule, do 
not believe in English apples. They declare that there are 
none, and receive accounts of Devonshire cider with mani- 
fest incredulity. ''But at any rate there are no apples in 
England equal to ours." That is an assertion to which an 
Englishman is called upon to give an absolute assent ; and 
I hereby give it. Apples so excellent as some which were 
given to us at Dubuque I have never eaten in England. 
There is a great jealousy respecting all the fruits of the 
earth. "Your peaches are fine to look at," was said to me, , 
"but they have no flavor." This was the assertion of a lady, 
and I made no answer. My idea had been that American 
peaches had no flavor ; that French peaches had none ; that 
those of Italy had none ; that little as there might be of 
which England could boast with truth, she might at any 



rate boast of her peaclies without fear of contradiction. 
Indeed, my idea had been that good peaclies were to be got 
in England only. I am beginning to doubt whether my be- 
lief on the matter has not been the product of insular igno- 
rance and idolatrous self-worship. It may be that a peach 
should be a combination of an apple and a turnip. "My 
great objection to your country, sir," said another, "is that 
you have got no vegetables." Had he told me that we had 
got no sea-board, or no coals, he would not have surprised 
me more. No vegetables in England I I could not restrain 
myself altogether, and replied by a confession "that we 
'raised' no squash." Squash is the pulp of the pumpkin, 
and is much used in the States, both as a vegetable and for 
pies. No vegetables in England ! Did my surprise arise 
from the insular ignorance and idolatrous self-worship of a 
Britisher, or was my American friend laboring under a de- 
lusion ? Is Covent Garden well supplied with vegetables, 
or is it not? Do we cultivate our kitchen-gardens with 
success, or am I under a delusion on that subject ? Do I 
dream, or is it true that out of my own little patches at 
home I have enough, for all domestic purposes, of peas, 
beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, beet-root, onions, car- 
rots, parsnips, turnips, sea-kale, asparagus, French beans, 
artichokes, vegetable marrow, cucumbers, tomatoes, endive, 
lettuce, as well as herbs of many kinds, cabbages throughout 
the year, and potatoes ? No vegetables ! Had the gentle- 
man told me that England did not suit him because we had 
nothing but vegetables, I should have been less surprised. 

From Dubuque, on the western shore of the river, we 
passed over to Dunleath, in Illinois, and went on from thence 
by railway to Dixon. I was induced to visit this not very 
flourishing town by a desire to see the rolling prairie of 
Illinois, and to learn by eyesight something of the crops of 
corn or Indian maize which are produced upon the land. 
Had that gentleman told me that we knew nothing of pro- 
ducing corn in England, he would have been nearer the 
mark ; for of corn, in the profusion in which it is grown 
here, we do not know much. Better land than the prairies 
of Illinois for cereal crops the world's surface probably 
cannot show. And here there has been no necessity for the 
long previous labor of banishing the forest. Enormous 
prairies stretch across the State, into which the plow can be 
put at once. The earth is rich with the vegetation of thou- 


sands of years, and the farmer's return is given to him with- 
out delay. The land bursts with its own produce, and the 
plenty is such that it creates wasteful carelessness in the 
gathering of the crop. It is not worth a man's while to 
handle less than large quantities. Up in Minnesota I had 
been grieved by the loose manner in which wheat was 
treated. I have seen bags of it upset and left upon the 
ground. The labor of collecting it was more than it was 
worth. There wheat is the chief crop, and as the lands 
become cleared and cultivation spreads itself, the amount 
coming down the Mississippi will be increased almost to 
infinity. The price of wheat in Europe will soon depend, 
not upon the value of the wheat in the country which grows 
it, but on the power and cheapness of the modes which may 
exist for transporting it. I have not been able to obtain 
the exact prices with reference to the carriage of wheat 
from St. Paul (the capital of Minnesota) to Liverpool, but 
I have done so as regards Indian-corn from the State of 
Illinois. The following statement will show what propor- 
tion the value of the article at the place of its growth bears 
to the cost of the carriage ; and it shows also how enor- 
mous an effect on the price of corn in England would follow 
any serious decrease in the cost of carriage : — 

A bushel of Indian-corn at Bloomington, in Illinois, 

cost, in October, 1861 . . . .10 cents. 

Freight to Chicago . . . . 10 " 

Storage . . . . . . 2 " 

Freight from Chicago to Buffalo . . 22 

Elevating, and canal freight to New York, . 19 

Transfer in New York and insurance . . 3 " 

Ocean freight . . , . . 23 

Cost of a bushel of Indian-corn at Liverpool 89 cents. 

Thus corn which in Liverpool costs 3s. lOd. has been sold 
by the farmer who produced it for 5d. I It is probable that 
no great reduction can be expected in the cost of ocean 
transit ; but it will be seen by the above figures that out 
of the Liverpool price of 3s. lOd., or 89 cents, considerably 
more than half is paid for carriage across the United States. 
All or nearly all this transit is by water ; and there can, I 
think, be no doubt but that a few years will see it reduced 
by fifty per cent. In October last the Mississippi was 
closed, the railways had not rolling stock sufficient for their 



work, the crops of the two last years had been excessive, 
and there existed the necessity of sending out the corn be- 
fore the internal navigation had been closed by frost. The 
parties who had the transit in their hands put their heads 
together, and were able to demand any prices that they 
pleased. It will be seen that the cost of carrying a bushel 
of corn from Chicago to Buffalo, by the lakes, was within 
one cent of the cost of bringing it from New York to Liv- 
erpool. These temporary causes for high prices of transit 
will cease ; a more perfect system of competition between 
the railways and the water transit will be organized ; and 
the result must necessarily be both an increase of price to 
the producer and a decrease of price to the consumer. It 
certainly seems that the produce of cereal crops in the val- 
leys of the Mississippi and its tributaries increases at a 
faster rate than population increases. Wheat and corn are 
sown by the thousand acres in a piece, I heard of one 
farmer who had 10,000 acres of corn. Thirty years ago 
grain and flour were sent Westward out of the State of New 
York to supply the wants of those who had immigrated into 
the prairies ; and now we fii)d that it will be the destiny of 
those prairies to feed the universe. Chicago is the main 
point of exportation Northwestward from Illinois, and at 
the present time sends out from its granaries more cereal 
produce than any other town in the world. The bulk of 
this passes, in the shape of grain or flour, from Chicago to 
Buffalo, which latter place is, as it were, a gateway leading 
from the lakes, or big waters, to the canals, or small waters. 
I give below the amount of grain and flour in bushels re- 
ceived into Buff'alo for transit in the month of October 
during four consecutive years : — 

October, 1858 . 

" isno . 

1861 . 

4,429,055 bushels. 
. 6,500,804 

In 18G0, from the opening to the close of navigation, 
30,837,032 bushels of grain and flour passed through Buf- 
falo, In 18G1, the amount received up to the 31st of Octo- 
ber was 51,909,142 bushels. As the navigation would be 
closed during the month of November, the above figures 
may be taken as representing not quite the whole amount 
transported for the year. It may be presumed the 52,000,000 



of bushels, as quoted above, will swell itself to 60,000,000. 
I confess that to my own mind statistical amounts do not 
bring home any enduring idea. Fifty million bushels of 
corn and flour simply seems to mean a great deal. It is a 
powerful form of superlative, and soon vanishes away, as do 
other superlatives in this age of strong words. I was at 
Chicago and at Buffalo in October, 18G1. I went down to 
the granaries and climbed up into the elevators. I saw the 
wheat running in rivers from one vessel into another, and 
from the railroad vans up into the huge bins on the top 
stores of the warehouses — for these rivers of food run up 
hill as easily as they do down. I saw the corn measured 
by the forty-bushel measure v/ith as much ease as we 
measure an ounce of cheese and with greater rapidi'ty, I 
ascertained that the work \fent on, week day and Sunday, 
day and night, incessantly — rivers of wheat and rivers of 
maize ever running. I saw the men bathed in corn as they 
distributed it in its flow. I saw bios by the score laden with 
wheat, in each of which bins there was space for a comfort- 
able residence. I breathed the flour and drank the flour, 
and felt myself to be enveloped in a world of breadstuff. 
And then I believed, understood, and brought it home to 
myself as a fact that here in the corn-lands of Michigan, 
and amid the bluffs of Wisconsin, and on the high table 
plains of Minnesota, and the prairies of Illinois had God 
prepared the food for the increasing millions of the Eastern 
World, as also for the coming millions of the Western. 

I do not find many minds constituted like my own, and 
therefore I venture to publish the above figures. I believe 
them to be true in the main ; and they will show, if credited, 
that the increase during the last four years has gone on with 
more than fabulous rapidity. For myself, I own that those 
figures would have done nothing unless I had visited the 
spot myself. A man cannot, perhaps, count up the results 
of such a work by a quick glance of his eye, nor communi- 
cate with precision to another the conviction which his own 
short experience has made so strong within himself ; but to 
himself seeing is believing. To me it was so at Chicago 
and at Bufi'alo. I began then to know what it was for a 
country to overflow with milk and honey, to burst with its 
own fruits and be smothered by its own riches. From St. 
Paul down the Mississippi, by the shores of Wisconsin and 
Iowa ; by the ports on Lake Pepin ; by La Crosse, from 




which one railway runs Eastward ; by Prairie du Chien, the 
terminus of a second ; by Dunleath, Fulton, and Rock 
Island, from whence three other lines run Eastward ; all 
through that wonderful State of Illinois, the farmer's glory ; 
along the ports of the Great Lakes ; through Michigan, 
Indiana, Ohio, and further Pennsylvania, up to Buffalo, the 
great gate of the Western Ceres, the loud cry was this : 
"How shall we rid ourselves of our corn and wheat ?" The 
result has been the passage of 60,000,000 bushels of bread- 
stuffs through that gate in one year! Let those who are 
susceptible of statistics ponder that. For them who are not 
I can only give this advice : Let them go to Buffalo next 
October, and look for themselves. 

In regarding the above figures, and the increase shown 
between the years 1860 and 1861, it must of course be borne 
in mind that, during the latter autumn, no corn or wheat 
was carried into the Southern States, and that none was 
exported from New Orleans or the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi. The States of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana 
have for some time past received much of their supplies 
from the Northwestern lands ; and the cutting off of this 
current of consumption has tended to swell the amount of 
grain which has been forced into the narrow channel of 
Buffalo. There has been no Southern exit allowed, and 
the Southern appetite has been deprived of its food. But 
taking this item for all that it is worth — or taking it, as it 
generally will be taken, for much more than it can be worth 
— the result left will be materially the same. The grand 
markets to which the Western States look and have looked 
are those of New England, New York, and Europe. Already 
corn and wheat are not the common crops of New England, 
Boston, and Hartford, and Lowell are fed from the great 
Western States. The State of New York, which, thirty 
years ago, was famous chiefly for its cereal produce, is now 
fed from these States. New York City would be starved 
if it depended on its own State; and it will soon be as true 
that England would be starved if it depended on itself. It 
was but the other day that we were talking of free trade in 
corn as a thing desirable, but as yet doubtful — but the other 
day that Lord Derby, who may be Prime Minister to-mor- 
row, and Mr. Disraeli, who may be Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer to-morrow, were stoutly of opinion that the corn 
laws might be and should be maintained — but the other day 



that the same opinion was held with confidence by Sir Rob- 
ert Peel, who, however, when the day for tlie change came, 
was not ashamed to become the instrument used by the 
people for their repeal. Events in these days march so 
quickly that they leave men behind ; and our dear old Pro- 
tectionists at home will have grown sleek upon American 
flour before they have realized the fact that they are no 
longer fed from their own furrows. 

I have given figures merely as regards the trade of Buf- 
falo ; but it must not be presumed that Buffalo is the only 
outlet from the great corn-lands of Northern America. In 
the first place, no grain of the produce of Canada finds its 
way to Buffalo. Its exit is by the St. Lawrence or by the 
Grand Trunk Railway, as I have stated when speaking of 
Canada. And then there is the passage for large vessels 
from the upper lakes — Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and 
Lake Erie — through the Welland Canal, into Lake Ontario, 
and out by the St. Lawrence. There is also the direct com- 
munication from Lake Erie, by the Is'ew York and Erie 
Railway to New York. I have more especially alluded to 
the trade of Buffalo, because I have been enabled to obtain 
a reliable return of the quantity of grain and flour which 
passes through that town, and because Buffalo and Chicago 
are the two spots which are becoming most famous in the 
cereal history of the Western States. 

Everybody has a map of North America. A reference 
to such a map will show the peculiar position of Chicago. 
It is at the south or head of Lake Michigan, and to it con- 
verge railways from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. 
At Chicago is found the nearest water carriage which can 
be obtained for the produce of a large portion of these 
States. From Chicago there is direct water conveyance 
round through the lakes to Buffalo, at the foot of Lake 
Erie. At Milwaukee, higher up on the lake, certain lines 
of railway come in, joining the lake to the Upper Missis- 
sippi, and to the wheat-lands of Minnesota. Thence the 
passage is round by Detroit, which is the port for the pro- 
duce of the greatest part of Michigan, and still it all goes 
on toward Buffalo. Then on Lake Erie there are the ports 
of Toledo, Cleveland, and Erie. At the bottom of Lake 
Erie there is this city of corn, at which the grain and flour 
are transhipped into the canal-boats and into the railway 
cars for New York ; and there is also the Welland Canal, 



through which large vessels pass from the upper lakes with- 
out transhipment of their cargo. 

I have said above that corn — meaning maize or Indian- 
corn — was to be bought at Bloomington, in Illinois, for ten 
cents (or five pence) a bushel. I found this also to be the 
case at Dixon, and also that corn of inferior quality might 
be bought for four pence; but I found also that it was not 
worth the farmer's while to shell it and sell it at such 
prices. I was assured that farmers were burning their In- 
dian-corn in some places, finding it more available to them 
as fuel than it was for the market. The labor of detaching 
a bushel of corn from the hulls or cobs is considerable, as 
is also the task of carrying it to market. I have known po- 
tatoes in Ireland so cheap that they would not pay for dig- 
ging and carrying away for purposes of sale. There was 
then a glut of potatoes in Ireland; and in the same way 
there was, in the autumn of 1861, a glut of corn in the 
Western States. The best qualities would fetch a price, 
though still a low price ; but corn that was not of the best 
quality was all but worthless. It did for fuel, and was 
burned. The fact was that the produce had re-created itself 
quicker than mankind had multiplied. The ingenuity of 
man had not worked quick enough for its disposal. The 
earth had given forth her increase so abundantly that the 
lap of created humanity could not stretch itself to hold it. 
At Dixon, in 1861, corn cost four pence a bushel. In Ire- 
land, in 1848, it was sold for a penny a pound, a pound 
being accounted sufficient to sustain life for a day; and v>'e 
all felt that at that price food was brought into the country 
cheaper than it had ever been brought before. 

Dixon is not a town of much apparent prosperity. It is 
one of those places at which great beginnings have been 
made, but as to which the deities presiding over new towns 
have not been propitious. Much of it has been burned down, 
and more of it has never been built up. It had a straggling, 
ill-conditioned, uncommercial aspect, very difi'erent from the 
look of Detroit, Milwaukee, or St. Paul. There was, how- 
ever, a great hotel there, as usual, and a grand bridge over 
the Rock River, a tributary of the Mississippi, which runs 
by or through the town. I found that life might be main- 
tained on very cheap terms at Dixon. To me, as a passing 
traveler, the charges at the hotel were, I take it, the same 
as elsewhere. But I learned from an inmate there that lie. 



with his wife and horse, were fed and cared for and attended, 
for two dollars (or eight shillings and four pence) a day. 
This included a private sitting-room, coals, light, and all 
the wants of life — as my informant told me — except tobacco 
and whisky. Feeding at such a house means a succession 
of promiscuous hot meals, as often as the digestion of the 
patient can face them. Now I do not know any local- 
ity where a man can keep himself and his wife, with all 
material comforts and the luxury of a horse and carriage, 
on cheaper terms than that. Whether or no it might be 
worth a man's while to live at all at such a place as Dixon, 
is altogether another question. 

We went there because it is surrounded by the prairie, 
and out into the prairie we had ourselves driven. We found 
some difficulty in getting away from the corn, though we 
had selected this spot as one at which the open rolling 
prairie was specially attainable. As long as I could see a 
corn-field or a tree I was not satisfied. Nor, indeed, was I 
satisfied at last. To have been thoroughly on the prairie, 
and in the prairie, I should have been a day's journey from 
tilled land. But I doubt whether that could now be done 
in the State of Illinois. I got out into various patches and 
brought away specimens of corn — ears bearing sixteen rows 
of grain, with forty grains in each row, each ear bearing a 
meal for a hungry man. 

At last we did find ourselves on the prairie, amid the 
waving grass, with the land rolling on before us in a succes- 
sion of gentle sweeps, never rising so as to impede the 
view, or apparently changing in its general level, but yet 
without the monotony of flatness. We were on the prairie, 
but still I felt no satisfaction. It was private propert}^, 
divided among holders and pastured over by private cattle. 
Salisbury Plain is as wild, and Dartmoor almost wilder. 
Deer, they told me, were to be had within reach of Dixon, 
but for the buffalo one has to go much farther afield than 
Illinois. The farmer may rejoice in Illinois, but the hunter 
and the trapper must cross the big rivers and pass away 
into the Western Territories before he can find lands wild 
enough for his purposes. My visit to the corn-fields of 
Illinois was in its way successful, but I felt, as I turned my 
face eastward toward Chicago, that I had no right to boast 
that I had as yet made acquaintance with a prairie. 

All minds were turned to the war, at Dixon as elsewhere. 



In Illinois the men boasted that, as regards the war, they 
were the leading State of the Union. But the same boast 
w^as made in Indiana, and also in Massachusetts, and prob- 
ably in half the States of the North and West. They, the 
Illinoisians, call their country the war-nest of the West. 
The population of the State is 1,700,000, and it had under- 
taken to furnish sixty volunteer regiments of 1000 men 
each. And let it be borne in mind that these regiments, 
when furnished, are really full — absolutely containing the 
thousand men when they are sent away from the parent 
States. The number of souls above named will give 
420,000 working men, and if, out of these, 60,000 are sent 
to the war, the State, which is almost purely agricultural, 
will have given more than ane man in eight. When I was 
in Illinois, over forty regiments had already been sent — 
forty-six, if I remember rightly — and there existed no 
doubt whatever as to the remaining number. From the 
next State, Indiana, with a population of 1,350,000, giving 
something less than 350,000 working men, thirty-six regi- 
ments had been sent. I fear that I am mentioning these 
numbers usque ad nauseam; but I wish to impress upon 
English readers the magnitude of the effort made by the 
States in mustering and equipping an army within six or 
seven months of the first acknowledgment that such an 
army would be necessary. The Americans have complained 
bitterly of the want of English sympathy, and I think they 
have been weak in making that complaint. But I would 
not wish that they should hereafter have the power of com- 
plaining of a want of English justice. There can be no 
doubt that a genuine feeling of patriotism was aroused 
throughout the North and West, and that men rushed into 
the ranks actuated by that feeling, men for whom war and 
army life, a camp and fifteen dollars a month, would not of 
themselves have had any attraction. It came to that, that 
young men were ashamed not to go into the army. This 
feeling of course produced coercion, and the movement 
was in that way tyrannical. There is nothing more tyran- 
nical than a strong popular feeling among a democratic 
people. During the period of enlistment this tyranny was 
very strong. But the existence of such a tyranny proves 
the passion and patriotism of the people. It got the bet- 
ter of the love of money, of the love of children, and of 
the love of progress. Wives who v/ith thoir bairns were 


absolutely dependent on their husbands' labors, would wish 
their huslDands to be at the war. Not to conduce, in some 
special way, toward the war ; to have neither father there, 
nor brother nor son; not to have lectured, or preached, or 
written for the war; to have made no sacrifice for the war, 
to have had no special and individual interest in the war, 
was disgraceful. One sees at a glance the tyranny of all 
this in such a country as the States. One can understand 
how quickly adverse stories would spread themselves as to 
the opinion of any man who chose to remain tranquil at 
such a time. One shudders at the absolute absence of true 
liberty which such a passion throughout a democratic coun- 
try must engender. But he who has observed all this must 
acknowledge that that passion did exist. Dollars, children, 
progress, education, and political rivalry all gave way to 
the one strong national desire for the thrashing and crush- 
ing of those who had rebelled against the authority of the 
stars and stripes. 

When we were at Dixon they were getting up the De- 
ment regiment. The attempt at the time did not seem to 
be prosperous, and the few men who had been collected had 
about them a forlorn, ill-conditioned look. But then, as I 
was told, Dixon had already been decimated and redeci- 
mated by former recruiting colonels. Colonel Dement, from 
whom the regiment was to be named, and whose military 
career was only now about to commence, had come late into 
the field. I did not afterward ascertain what had been his 
success, but I hardly doubt that he did ultimately scrape 
together his thousand men. * Why don't you go ?" I said to 
a burly Irishman who was driving me. "I'm not a sound 
man, yer honor," said the Irishman; "I'm deficient in me 
liver." Taking the Irishmen, however, throughout the 
Union, they had not been found deficient in any of the 
necessaries for a career of war. I do not think that any 
men have done better than the Irish in the American army. 

From Dixon we went to Chicago. Chicago is in many 
respects the most remarkable city among all the remarkable 
cities of the Union. Its growth has been the fastest and 
its success the most assured. Twenty-five years ago there 
was no Chicago, and now it contains 120,000 inhabitants. 
Cincinnati, on the Ohio, and St. Louis, at the junction of 
the Missouri and Mississippi, are larger towns ; but they 
have not grown large so quickly nor do they now promise 



SO excessive a development of commerce. Chicago may be 
called the metropolis of American corn — the favorite city 
haunt of the American Ceres. The goddess seats herself 
there amid the dust of her full barns, and proclaims herself 
a goddess ruling over things political and philosophical as 
well as agricultural. Not furrows only are in her thoughts, 
but free trade also and brotherly love. And within her own 
bosom there is a boast that even yet she will be stronger 
-•than Mars. In Chicago there are great streets, and rows 
of houses fit to be the residences of a new Corn-Exchange 
nobility. They look out on the wide lake which is now the 
highway for breadstufTs, and the merchant, as he shaves at 
his window, see^ his rapid ventures as they pass away, one 
after the other, toward the East. 

I went over one great grain store in Chicago possessed 
by gentlemen of the name of Sturgess and Buckenham. It 
was a world in itself, and the dustiest of all the worlds. It 
contained, when I was there, half a million bushels of wheat 
— or a very great many, as I might say in other language. 
But it was not as a storehouse that this great building was 
so remarkable, but as a channel or a river-course for the 
flooding freshets of corn. It is so built that both railway 
vans and vessels come immediately under its claws, as I may 
call the great trunks of the elevators. Out of the railway 
vans the corn and wheat is clawed up into the building, 
and down similar trunks it is at once again poured out into 
the vessels. I shall be at Buffalo in a page or two, and 
then I will endeavor to explain more minutely how this is 
done. At Chicago the corn is bought and does change 
hands ; and much of it, therefore, is stored there for some 
space of time, shorter or longer as the case may be. When 
I was at Chicago, the only limit to the rapidity of its transit 
was set by the amount of boat accommodation. There were 
not bottoms enough to take the corn away from Chicago, 
nor, indeed, on the railway was there a sufficiency of rolling 
stock or locomotive power to bring it into Chicago. As I 
said before, the country was bursting with its own produce 
and smothered in its own fruits. 

At Chicago the hotel was bigger than other hotels and 
grander. There were pipes without end for cold water 
which ran hot, and for hot water which would not run at 
all. The post-office also was grander and bigger than other 
post-offices, though the postmaster confessed to me that 


that matter of the delivery of letters was one which could 
not be compassed. Just at that moment it was being done 
as a private speculation ; but it did not pay, and would be 
discontinued. The theater, too, was large, handsome, and 
convenient; but on the night of my attendance it seemed 
to lack an audience. A good comic actor it did not lack, 
and I never laughed more heartily in my life. There was 
something wrong, too, just at that time — I could not make 
out what — in the Constitution of Illinois, and the present 
moment had been selected for voting a new Constitution. 
To us in England such a necessity would be considered a 
matter of importance, but it did not seem to be much thought 
of here. Some slight alteration probably," I suggested. 
" No," said my informant, one of the judges of their courts, 
"it is to be a thorough, radical change of the whole Con- 
stitution. They are voting the delegates to-day." I went 
to see them vote the delegates, but, unfortunately, got into 
a wrong place — by invitation — and was turned out, not 
without some slight tumult. I trust that the new Consti- 
tution was carried through successfully. 

From these little details it may, perhaps, be understood 
how a town like Chicago goes on and prospers in spite of 
all the drawbacks which are incident to newness. Men in 
those regions do not mind failures, and, when they have 
failed, instantly begin again. They make their plans on a 
large scale, and they who come after them fill up what has 
been wanting at first. Those taps of hot and cold water 
will be made to run by the next owner of the hotel, if not 
by the present owner. In another ten years the letters, I 
do not doubt, will all be delivered. Long before that time 
the theater will probably be full. The new Constitution is 
no doubt already at work, and, if found deficient, another 
will succeed to it without any trouble to the State or any 
talk on the subject through the Union. Chicago was in- 
tended as a tovv^n of export for corn, and therefore the corn 
stores have received the first attention. When I was there 
they were in perfect working order. 

From Chicago we went on to Cleveland, a town in the 
State of Ohio, on Lake Erie, again traveling by the sleep- 
ing-cars. I found that these cars were universally mentioned 
with great horror and disgust by Americans of the upper 
class. They always declared that they would not travel in them 
on any account. Noise and dirt were the two objections. 



They are very noisy, but to us belonged the happy power 
of sleeping down noise. I invariably slept all through the 
night, and knew nothing about the noise. They are also 
very dirty — extremely dirty — dirty so as to cause much an- 
noyance. But then they are not quite so dirty as the day 
cars. If dirt is to be a bar against traveling in America, 
men and women must stay at home. For myself, I don't 
much care for dirt, having a strong reliance on soap and 
water and scrubbing-brashes. No one regards poisons who 
carries antidotes in which he has perfect faith. 

Cleveland is another pleasant town — pleasant as Milwau- 
kee and Portland. The streets are handsome and are shaded 
by grand avenues of trees. One of these streets is over a 
mile in length, and throughout the whole of it there are 
trees on each side — not little, paltry trees as are to be seen 
on the boulevards of Paris, but spreading elms : the beau- 
tiful American elm, which not only spreads, but droops also, 
and makes more of its foliage than any other tree extant. 
And there is a square in Cleveland, well sized, as large as 
Russell Square I should say, with open paths across it, and 
containing one or two handsome buildings. I cannot but 
think that all men and women in London would be great 
gainers if the iron rails of the squares were thrown down 
and the grassy inclosures thrown open to the public. Of 
course the edges of the turf would be worn, and the paths 
would not keep their exact shapes. But the prison look 
would be banished, and the somber sadness of the squares 
would be relieved. 

I was particularly struck by the size and comfort of the 
houses at Cleveland. All down that street of which I have 
spoken they do not stand continuously together, but are 
detached and separate — houses which in England would 
require some fifteen or eighteen hundred a year for their 
maintenance. In the States, however, men commonly ex- 
pend upon house rent a much greater proportion of their 
income than they do in England. With us it is, I believe, 
thought that a man should certainly* not apportion more 
than a seventh of his spending income to his house rent — 
some say not more than a tenth. But in many cities of the 
States a man is thought to live well within bounds if he so 
expends a fourth. There can be no doubt as to Americans 
living in better houses than Englishmen, making the com- 
parison of course between men of equal incomes. But the 


Englishman has many more incidental expenses than the 
American. He spends more on wine, on entertainments, 
on horses, and on amusements. He has a more numerous 
establishment, and keeps up the adjuncts and outskirts of 
his residence with a more finished neatness. 

These houses in Cleveland were very good, as, indeed, 
they are in most Northern towns; but some of them have 
been erected with an amount of bad taste that is almost in- 
credible. It is not uncommon to see in front of a square 
brick house a wooden quasi-Greek portico, with a pediment 
and Ionic columns, equally high with the house itself. 
Wooden columns with Greek capitals attached to the door- 
ways, and wooden pediments over the windows, are very 
frequent. As a rule, these are attached to houses which, 
without such ornamentation, would be simple, unpretentious, 
square, roomy residences. An Ionic or Corinthian capital 
stuck on to a log of wood called a column, and then hxed 
promiscuously to the outside of an ordinary house, is to my 
eye the vilest of architectural pretenses. Little turrets are 
better than this, or even brown battlements made of mortar. 
Except in America I do not remember to have seen these 
vicious bits of white timber — timber painted white — plas- 
tered on to the fronts and sides of red brick houses. 

Again we went on by rail to Buffalo. I have traveled 
some thousands of miles by railway in the States, taking 
long journeys by night and longer journeys by day; but I 
do not remember that while doing so I ever made acquaint- 
ance with an American. To an American lady in a rail- 
way car I should no more think of speaking than I should 
to an unknown female in the next pew to me at a London 
church. It is hard to understand from whence come the 
laws which govern societies in this respect ; but there are 
different laws in different societies, which soon obtain recog- 
nition for themselves. American ladies are much given to 
talking, and are generally free from all mauvaise honte. 
They are collected in manner, well instructed, and resolved 
to have their share of the social advantages of the world. 
In this phase of life they come out more strongly than Eng- 
lish women. But on a railway journey, be it ever so long, 
they are never seen speaking to a stranger. English women, 
however, on English railways are generally willing to con- 
verse: they will do so if they be on a journey; but will not 
open their mouths if they be simply passing backward and 



forward between their homes and some neighboring town. 
We soon learn the rules on these subjects; but who make 
the rules? If you cross the Atlantic with an American 
lady you invariably fall in love with her before the journey 
is over. Travel with the same woman in a railway car for 
twelve hours, and you will have written her down in your 
own mind in quite other language than that of love. 

And now for Buifalo, and the elevators. I trust I have 
made it understood that corn comes into Buffalo, not only 
from Chicago, of which I have spoken specially, but from 
all the ports round the lakes : Racine, Milwaukee, Grand 
Haven, Port Sarnia, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and many 
others. At these ports the produce is generally bought 
and sold ; but at Buffalo it is merely passed through a 
gateway. It is taken from vessels of a size fitted for the 
lakes, and placed in other vessels fitted for the canal. This 
is the Erie Canal, which connects the lakes with the Hud- 
son River and with New York. The produce which passes 
through the Welland Canal — the canal which connects Lake 
Erie and the upper lakes with Lake Ontario and the St. 
Lawrence — is not transhipped, seeing that the Welland 
Canal, which is less than thirty miles in length, gives a 
passage to vessels of 500 tons. As I have before said, 
60,000,000 bushels of breadstuff were thus pushed through 
Buffalo in the open mouths of the year 1861. These open 
months run from the middle of April to the middle of 
November; but the busy period is that of the last two 
months — the time, that is, which intervenes between the full 
ripening of the corn and the coming of the ice. 

An elevator is as ugly a monster as has been yet pro- 
duced. In uncouthness of form it outdoes those obsolete 
old brutes who used to roam about the semi-aqueous world, 
and live a most uncomfortable life with their great hunger- 
ing stomachs and huge unsatisfied maws. The elevator 
itself consists of a big movable trunk — movable as is that 
of an elephant, but not pliable, and less graceful even than 
an elephant's. This is attached to a huge granary or barn; 
but in order to give altitude within the barn for the neces- 
sary moving up and down of this trunk — seeing that it 
cannot be curled gracefully to its purposes as the elephant's 
is curled — there is an awkward box erected on the roof of 
the barn, giving some twenty feet of additional height, up 
into which the elevator can be thrust. It will be under- 



stood, then, that this big movable trunk, the head of which, 
when it is at rest, is thrust up into the box on the roof, is 
made to slant down in an oblique direction from the build- 
ing to the river ; for the elevator is an amphibious insti- 
tution, and flourishes only on the banks of navigable waters. 
When its head is ensconced within its box, and the beast of 
prey is thus nearly hidden within the building, the unsus- 
picious vessel is brought up within reach of the crealure's 
trunk, and down it comes, like a musquito's proboscis, right 
through the deck, in at the open aperture of the hole, and 
so into the very vitals and bowels of the ship. When there, 
it goes to work upon its food with a greed and an avidity 
that is disgusting to a beholder of any taste or imagination. 
And now I must explain the anatomical arrangement by 
which the elevator still devours and continues to devour, 
till the corn within its reach has all been swallowed, mas- 
ticated, and digested. Its long trunk, as seen slanting 
down from out of the building across the wharf and into 
the ship, is a mere wooden pipe ; but this pipe is divided 
within. It has two departments ; and as the grain-bearing 
troughs pass up the one on a pliable band, they pass empty 
down the other. The system, therefore, is that of an ordi- 
nary dredging machine ; only that corn and not mud is 
taken away, and that the buckets or troughs are hidden 
from sight. Below, within the stomach of the poor bark, 
three or four laborers are at work, helping to feed the 
elevator. They shovel the corn up toward its maw, so that 
at every swallow he should take in all that he can hold. 
Thus the troughs, as they ascend, are kept full, and when 
they reach the upper building they empty themselves into a 
shoot, over which a porter stands guard, moderating the 
shoot by a door, which the weight of his finger can open 
and close. Through this doorway the corn runs into a 
measure, and is weighed. By measures of forty bushels 
each, the tale is kept. There stands the apparatus, with 
the figures plainly marked, over against the porter's eye ; 
and as the sum mounts nearly up to forty bushels he closes 
the door till the grains run thinly through, hardly a hand- 
ful at a time, so that the balance is exactly struck. Then 
the teller standing by marks down his figure, and the record 
is made. The exact porter touches the string of another 
door, and the forty bushels of corn run out at the bottom 
of the measure, disappear down another shoot, slanting 




also toward the water, and deposit themselves in the canal 
boat. The transit of the bushels of corn from the larger 
vessel to the smaller will have taken less than a minute, and 
the cost of that transit will have been — a farthing. 

But I have spoken of the rivers of wheat, and I must 
explain what are those rivers. In the working of the 
elevator, which I have just attempted to describe, the two 
vessels were supposed to be lying at the same wharf, on the 
same side of the building, in the same water, the smaller 
vessel inside the larger one. When this is the case the 
corn runs direct from the weighing measure into the shoot 
that communicates with the canal boat. But there is not 
room or time for confining the work to one side of the 
building. There is water on both sides, and the corn or 
wheat is elevated on the one side, and reshipped on the 
other. To effect this the corn is carried across the breadth 
of the building; but, nevertheless, it is never handled or 
moved in its direction on trucks or carriages requiring the 
use of men's muscles for its motion. Across the floor of 
the building are two gutters, or channels, and through 
these, small troughs on a pliable band circulate very quickly. 
They which run one way, in one channel, are laden; they 
which return by the other channel are empty. The corn 
pours itself into these, and they again pour it into the 
shoot which commands the other water. And thus rivers 
of corn are running through these buildings night and day. 
The secret of all the motion and arrangement consists, of 
course, in the elevation. The corn is lifted up; and when 
lifted up can move itself, and arrange itself, and weigh it- 
self, and load itself. 

I should have stated that all this wheat which passes 
through Buffalo comes loose, in bulk. Nothing is known 
of sacks or bags. To any spectator at Buffalo this be- 
comes immediately a matter of course; but this should be 
explained, as we in England are not accustomed to see 
wheat traveling in this open, unguarded, and plebeian man- 
ner. Wheat with us is aristocratic, and travels always in 
its private carriage. 

Over and beyond the elevators there is nothing specially 
worthy of remark at Buffalo. It is a fine city, like all other 
American cities of its class. The streets are broad, the 
"blocks" are high, and cars on tramways run all day, and 
nearly all night as well. 





We had now before us only two points of interest before 
we should reach New York — the Falls of Trenton, and West 
Point on the Hudson River. We were too late in the year 
to get up to Lake George, which lies in the State of New 
York north of Albany, and is, in fact, the southern contin- 
uation of Lake Champlain. Lake George, I know, is very 
lovely, and I would fain have seen it ; but visitors to it must 
have some hotel accommodation, and the hotel was closed 
when we were near enough to visit it. T was in its close 
neighborhood three years since, in June ; but then the hotel 
was not yet opened. A visitor to Lake George must be 
very exact in his time. July and August are the months — 
with, perhaps, the grace of a week in September. 

The hotel at Trenton was also closed, as I was told. But 
even if there were no hotel at Trenton, it can be visited 
without difficulty. It is within a carriage drive of Utica, 
and there is, moreover, a direct railway from Utica, with a 
station at the Trenton Falls. Utica is a town on the line 
of railway from Buffalo to New Y^ork via Albany, and is 
like all the other towns we had visited. There are broad 
streets, and avenues of trees, and large shops, and excellent 
houses. A general air of fat prosperity pervades them all, 
and is strong at Utica as elsewhere. 

I remember to have been told, thirty years ago, that a 
traveler might go far and wide in search of the picturesque 
without finding a spot more romantic in its loveliness than 
Trenton Falls. The name of the river is Canada Creek 
West ; but as that is hardly euphonious, the course of the 
water which forms the falls has been called after the town 
or parish. This course is nearly two miles in length ; and 
along the space of this two miles it is impossible to say 
where the greatest beauty exists. To see Trenton aright, 
one must be careful not to have too much water. A suffi- 
ciency is no doubt desirable ; and it may be that at the 


close of summer, before any of the autumnal rains have 
fallen, there may occasionally be an insufficiency. But if 
there be too much, the passage up the rocks along the river 
is impossible. The way on which the tourist should walk 
becomes the bed of the stream, and the great charm of the 
place cannot be enjoyed. That charm consists in descend- 
ing into the ravine of the river, down amid the rocks through 
which it has cut its channel, and in walking up the bed 
against the stream, in climbing the sides of the various 
falls, and sticking close to the river till an envious block is 
reached which comes sheer down into the water and pre- 
vents farther progress. This is nearly two miles above the 
steps by which the descent is made ; and not a foot of this 
distance but is wildly beautiful. When the river is very 
low there is a pathway even beyond that block ; but when 
this is the case there can hardly be enough of water to make 
the fall satisfactory. 

There is no one special cataract at Trenton which is in 
itself either wonderful or pre-eminently beautiful. It is the 
position, form, color, and rapidity of the river which gives 
the charm. It runs through a deep ravine, at the bottom 
of which the water has cut for itself a channel through the 
rocks, the sides of which rise sometimes with the sharpness 
of the walls of a stone sarcophagus. They are rounded, 
too, toward the bed as I have seen the bottom of a sar- 
cophagus. Along the side of the right bank of the river 
there is a passage which, w^hen the freshets come, is alto- 
gether covered. This passage is sometimes very narrow; 
but in the narrowest parts an iron chain is affixed into the 
rock. It is slippery and wet ; and it is well for ladies, when 
visiting the place, to be provided with outside India-rubber 
shoes, which keep a hold upon the stone. If I remember 
rightly, there are two actual cataracts — one not far above 
the steps by which the descent is made into the channel, and 
the other close under a summer-house, near to which the 
visitors reascend into the wood. But these cataracts, though 
by no means despicable as cataracts, leave comparatively a 
slight impression. They tumble down with sufficient vio- 
lence and the usual fantastic disposition of their forces ; 
but simply as cataracts w-ithin a day's journey of Niagara, 
they would be nothing. Up beyond the summer-house the 
passage along the river can be continued for another mile; 
but it is rough, and the climbing in some places rather dif- 



ficult for ladies. Every man, however, who has the use of 
his legs should do it ; for the succession of rapids, and the 
twistings of the channels, and the forms of the roclvs are as 
wild and beautiful as the imagination can desire. The 
banks of the river are closely wooded on each side ; and 
though this circumstance does not at first seem to add much 
to the beauty, seeing that the ravine is so (]eep that the ab- 
sence of wood above would hardly be noticed, still there 
are broken clefts ever and anon through which the colors 
of the foliage show themselves, and straggling boughs and 
rough roots break through the rocks here and there, and 
add to the wildness and charm of the whole. 

The walk back from the summer-house through the wood 
is very lovely ; but it would be a disappointing walk to vis- 
itors who had been prevented by a flood in the river from 
coming up the channel, for it indicates plainly how requisite 
it is that the river should be seen from below and not from 
above. The best view of the larger fall itself is that seen 
from the wood. And here again I would point out that 
any male visitor should walk the channel of the river up 
and down. The descent is too slippery and difficult for 
bipeds laden with petticoats. We found a small hotel open 
at Trenton, at which we got a comfortable dinner, and then 
in the evening were driven back to Utica. 

Albany is the capital of the State of New York, and our 
road from Trenton to West Point lay through that town ; 
but these political State capitals have no interest in them- 
selves. The State legislature was not sitting; and we went 
on, merely remarking that the manner in which the railway 
cars are made to run backward and forward through the 
crowded streets of the town must cause a frequent loss of 
human life. One is led to suppose that children in Albany 
can hardly have a chance of coming fo maturity. Such 
accidents do not become the subject of long-continued and , 
strong comment in the States as they do with us ; but nev- 
ertheless I should have thought that such a state of things 
as we saw there would have given rise to some remark on 
the part of the philanthropists. I cannot myself say that 
I saw anybody killed, and therefore should not be justified 
in making more than this passing remark on the subject. 

When first the Americans of the Northern States began 
to talk much of their country, their claims as to fine scenery 
were confined to Niagara and the Hudson River. Of Ni- 




agara I have spoken ; and all the world has acknowledged 
that no claim made on that head can be regarded as exag- 
gerated. As to the Hudson I am not prepared to say so 
much generally, though there is one spot upon it which can- 
not be beaten for sweetness, I have been up and down the 
Hudson by water, and confess that the entire river is pretty. 
But there is much of it that is not pre-eminently pretty 
among rivers. As a whole, it cannot be named with the 
Upper Mississippi, with the Rhine, with the Moselle, or 
with the Upper Rhone. The palisades just out of New 
York are pretty, and the whole passage through the mount- 
ains from West Point up to Catskill and Hudson is inter- 
esting. But the glory of the Hudson is at West Point 
itself ; and thither on this occasion we went direct by rail- 
way, and there we remained for two days. The Catskill 
Mountains should be seen by a detour from off the river. We 
did not visit them, because here again the hotel was closed. 
I will leave them, therefore, for the new hand book which 
Mr. Murray will soon bring out. 

Of West Point there is something to be said independ- 
ently of its scenery. It is the Sandhurst of the States. 
Here is their military school, from which officers are drafted 
to their regiments, and the tuition for military purposes is, 
1 imagine, of a high order. It must of course be borne in 
mind that West Point, even as at present arranged, is fitted 
to the wants of the old army, and not to that of the army 
now required. It can go but a little way to supply officers 
for 500,000 men; but would do much toward supplying 
them for 40,000. At the time of my visit to West Point 
the regular army of the Northern States had not even then 
swelled itself to the latter number. 

I found that there were 220 students at West Point ; 
that about forty graduate every year, each of whom receives 
a commission in the army; that about 120 pupils are ad- 
mitted every year ; and that in the course of every year 
about eighty either resign, or are called upon to leave on 
account of some deficiency, or fail in their final examination. 
The result is simply this, that one-third of those who enter 
succeeds, and that two-thirds fail. The number of failures 
seemed to me to be terribly large — so large as to give great 
ground of hesitation to a parent in accepting a nomination 
for the college. I especially inquired into the particulars 
of these dismissals and resignations, and was assured that 



the majority of tbem take place in the first year of the 
pupilage. It is soon seen whether or no a lad has the 
mental and physical capacities necessary for the education 
and future life required of him, and care is taken that those 
shall be removed early as to whom it may be determined 
that the necessary capacity is clearly wanting. If this is 
done — and I do not doubt it — the evil is much mitigated. 
The elfect otherwise would be very injurious. The lads re- 
main till they are perhaps one and twenty, and have then 
acquired aptitudes for military life, but no other aptitudes. 
At that age the education cannot be commenced anew, and, 
moreover, at that age the disgrace of failure is very in- 
jurious. The period of education used to be five years, but 
has now been reduced to four. This was done in order that 
a double class might be graduated in 1861 to supply the 
wants of the war. I believe it is considered that but for 
such necessity as that, the fifth year of education can be ill 

The discipline, to our English ideas, is very strict. In 
the first place no kind of beer, wine, or spirits is allowed at 
West Point. The law upon this point may be said to be 
very vehement, for it debars even the visitors at the hotel 
from the solace of a glass of beer. The hotel is within the 
bounds of the college, and as the lads might become pur- 
chasers at the bar, there is no bar allowed. Any breach of 
this law leads to instant expulsion ; or, I should say rather, 
any detection of such breach. The officer who showed us 
over the college assured me that the presence of a glass of 
wine in a young man's room would secure his exclusion, 
even though there should be no evidence that he had tasted 
it. He was very firm as to this ; but a little bird of West 
Point, whose information, though not official or probably 
accurate in words, seemed to me to be worthy of reliance in 
general, told me that eyes were wont to wink when such 
glasses of wine made themselves unnecessarily visible. Let 
us fancy an English mess of young men from seventeen to 
twenty-one, at which a mug of beer would be felony and a 
glass of wine high treason ! But the whole management of 
the young with the Americans differs much from that in 
vogue with us. We do not require so much at so early an 
age, either in knowledge, in morals, or even in manliness. 
In America, if a lad be under control, as at West Point, he 
is called upon for an amount of labor and a degree of con- 



duct which would be considered quite transcendental and 
out of the question in England. But if he be not under 
control, if at the age of eighteen he be living at home, or be 
from his circumstances exempt from professorial power, he 
is a full-fledged man, with his pipe apparatus and his bar 

And then I was told, at West Point, how needful and yet 
how painful it was that all should be removed who were in 
any way deiicient in credit to the establishment. " Our 
rules are very exact," my informant told me; "but the 
carrying out of our rules is a task not always very easy." 
As to this also I had already heard something from that 
little bird of West Point; but of course I wisely assented 
to my informant, remarking that discipline in such an estab- 
lishment was essentially necessary. The little bird had told 
me that discipline at West Point had been rendered terribly 
difficult by political interference. "A young man will be 
dismissed by the unanimous voice of the board, and will be 
sent away. And then, after a week or two, he will be sent 
back, with an order from Washington that another trial 
shall be given him. The lad will march back into the col- 
lege with all the honors of a victory, and will be conscious 
of a triumph over the superintendent and his officers." 
"And is that common ?" I asked. " Not at the present mo- 
ment," I was told. "But it was common before the war. 
While Mr. Buchanan, and Mr. Pierce, and Mr. Polk were 
Presidents, no officer or board of officers then at West 
Point was able to dismiss a lad whose father was a South- 
erner, and who had friends among the government." 

Not only was this true of West Point, but the same 
allegation is true as to all matters of patronage throughout 
the United States. During the three or four last presiden- 
cies, and I believe back to the time of Jackson, there has 
been an organized system of dishonesty in the management 
of all beneticial places under the control of the government. 
I doubt whether any despotic court of Europe has been so 
corrupt in the distribution of places — that is, in the selection 
of public officers — as has been the assemblage of statesmen 
at Washington. And this is the evil which the country is 
now expiating with its blood and treasure. It has allowed 
its knaves to stand in the high places ; and now it finds 
that knavish works have brought about evil results. But 



of this I shall be constrained to say something further 

We went into all the schools of the college, and made 
ourselves fully aware that the amount of learning imparted 
was far above our comprehension. It always occurs to me, 
in looking through tlie new schools of the present day, that 
I ought to be thankful to persons who know so much for 
condescending to speak to me at all in plain English. I 
said a word to the gentleman who was with me about horses, 
seeing a lot of lads going to their riding lesson. But he 
■was down upon me, and crushed me instantly beneath the 
weight of my own ignorance. He walked me up to the 
image of a horse, which he took to pieces, bit by bit, taking 
off skin, muscle, flesh, nerves, and bones, till the animal was 
a heap of atoms, and assured me that the anatomy of the 
horse throughout was one of the necessary studies of the 
place. We afterward went to see the riding. The horses 
themselves were poor enough. This was accounted for by 
the fact that such of them as had been found fit for military 
service had been taken for the use of the army. 

There is a gallery in the college in which are hung 
sketches and pictures by former students. I was greatly 
struck with the merit of many of these. There were some 
copies from well-known works of art of very high excel- 
lence, when the age is taken into account of those by whom 
they were done. I don't know how far the art of drawing, 
as taught generally, and with no special tendency to mili- 
tary instruction, may be necessary for military training; 
but if it be necessary I should imagine that more is done in 
that direction at West Point than at Sandhurst. I found, 
however, that much of that in the gallery, which was good, 
had been done by lads who had not obtained their degree, 
and who had shown an aptitude for drawing, but had not 
shown any aptitude for other pursuits necessary to their 
intended career. 

And then we were taken to the chapel, and there saw, 
displayed as trophies, two of our own dear old English flags. 
I have seen many a banner hung up in token of past victory, 
and many a flag taken on the field of battle mouldering by 
degrees into dust on some chapel's wall — but they have not 
been the flags of England. Till this day I had never seen 
our own colors in any position but one of self-assertion and 
independent power. . From the tone used by the gentleman 



who showed them to me, I could gather that he would have 
passed them by, had he not foreseen that he could not do so 
without my notice. " I don't know that we are right to put 
them there," he said. "Quite right," was my reply, "as 
long as the world does such things." In private life it is 
vulgar to triumph over one's friends, and malicious to tri- 
umph over one's enemies. We have not got so far yet in 
public life, but I hope we are advancing toward it. In the 
mean time I did not begrudge the Americans our two flags. 
If we keep flags and cannons taken from our enemies, and 
show them about as signs of our own prowess after those 
enemies have become friends, why should not others do so 
as regards us ? It clearly would not be well for the world 
that we should always beat other nations and never be 
beaten. I did not begrudge that chapel our two flags. 
But, nevertheless, the sight of them made me sick in the 
stomach and uncomfortable. As an Englishman I do not 
want to be ascendant over any one. But it makes me very 
ill when any one tries to be ascendant over me. I wish we 
could send back with our compliments all the trophies that 
we hold, carriage paid, and get back in return those two 
flags, and any other flag or two of our own that may be 
doing similar duty about the world. I take it that the 
parcel sent away would be somewhat more bulky than that 
which would reach us in return. 

The discipline at West Point seemed, as I have said, to 
be very severe ; but it seemed also that that severity could 
not in all cases be maintained. The hours of study also 
were long, being nearly continuous throughout the day. 
"English lads of that age could not do it," I said; thus 
confessing that English lads must have in them less power 
of sustained work than those of America. "They must do 
it here," said my informant, "or else leave us." And then 
he took us off to one of the young gentlemen's quarters, in 
order that we might see the nature of their rooms. We 
found the young gentleman fast asleep on his bed, and felt 
uncommonly grieved that we should have thus intruded on 
him. As the hour was one of those allocated by my in- 
formant in the distribution of the day to private study, I 
could not but take the present occupation of the embryo 
warrior as an indication that the amount of labor required 
might be occasionally too much even for an American 
youth. "The heat makes one so uncommonly drowsy," 



said tlie young man. I was not the least surprised at the 
exclamation. The air of the apartment had been warmed 
up to such a pitch by the hot-pipe apparatus of the build- 
ing that prolonged life to me would, I should have thought, 
be out of the question in such an atmosphere. ''Do you 
always have it as hot as this?" I asked. The young man 
swore that it was so, and with considerable energy expressed 
his opinion that all his health, and spirits, and vitality were 
being baked out of him. He seemed to have a strong 
opinion on the matter, for which I respected him; but it 
had never occurred to him, and did not then occur to him, 
that anything could be done to moderate that deathly flow 
of hot air which came up to him from the neighboring in- 
fernal regions. He was pale in the face, and all the lads 
there were pale. American lads and lasses are all pale. 
Men at thirty and women at twenty-five have had all sem- 
blance of youth baked out of them. Infants even are not 
rosy, and the only shades known on the cheeks of children 
are those composed of brown, yellow, and white. All this 
comes of those damnable hot-air pipes with which every 
tenement in America is infested. "We cannot do without 
them," they say. "Our cold is so intense that we must 
heat our houses throughout. Open fire-places in a few 
rooms would not keep our toes and fingers from the frost." 
There is much in this; The assertion is no doubt true, and 
thereby a great difficulty is created. It is no doubt quite 
within the power of American ingenuity to moderate the 
heat of these stoves, and to produce such an atmosphere as 
may be most conducive to health. In hospitals no doubt 
this will be done ; perhaps is done at present — though even 
in hospitals I have thought the air hotter than it should be. 
But hot-air drinking is like dram-drinking. There is the 
machine within the house capable of supplying any quan- 
tity, and those who consume it unconsciously increase their 
draughts, and take their drams stronger and stronger, till a 
breath of fresh air is felt to be a blast direct from Boreas. 

West Point is at all points a military colony, and, as such, 
belongs exclusively to the Federal government as separate 
from the government of any individual State. It is the 
purchased property of the United States as a whole, and is 
devoted to the necessities of a military college. No man 
could take a house there, or succeed in getting even per- 
manent lodgings, unless he belonged to or were employed 



by the establishment. There is no intercourse by road be- 
tween West Point and other towns or villages on the river 
side, and any such intercourse even by water is looked upon 
with jealousy by the authorities. The wish is that West 
Point should be isolated and kept apart for military in- 
struction to the exclusion of all other purposes whatever — . 
especially love-making purposes. The coming over from 
the other side of the water of young ladies by the ferry is 
regarded as a great hinderance. They will come, and then 
the military students will talk to them. We all know to 
what such talking leads I A lad when I was there had 
been tempted to get out of barracks in plain clothes, in 
order that he might call on a young lady at the hotel ; and 
was in consequence obliged to abandon his commission and 
retire from the Academy, Will that young lady ever again 
sleep quietly in her bed ? I should hope not. An opinion 
was expressed to me that there should be no hotel in such 
a place — that there should be no ferry, no roads, no means 
by which the attention of the students should be distracted 
— that these military Rasselases should live in a happy 
military valley from which might be excluded both strong 
drinks and female charms — those two poisons from which 
youthful military ardor is supposed to suffer so much. 

It always seems to me that such training begins at the 
wrong end. I will not say that nothing should be done to 
keep lads of eighteen from strong drinks. I will not even 
say that there should not be some line of moderation with 
reference to feminine allurements. But, as a rule, the re- 
straint should come from the sense, good feeling, and educa- 
tion of him wlio is restrained. There is no embargo on 
the beer-shops either at Harrow or at Oxford — and cer- 
tainly none upon the young ladies. Occasional damage 
may accrue from habits early depraved, or a heart too early 
and too easily susceptible; but the injury so done is not, I 
think, equal to that inflicted by a Draconian code of morals, 
which will probably be evaded, and will certainly create a 
desire for its evasion. 

Nevertheless, I feel assured that West Point, taken as a 
whole, is an excellent military academy, and that young 
men have gone forth from it, and will go forth from it, fit 
for officers as far as training can make men fit. The fault, 
if fault there be, is that which is to be found in so many of 
the institutions of the United States, and is one so allied 



to a virtue, that no foreigner has a right to wonder that it 
is regarded in the light of a virtue by all Americans. 
There has been an attempt to make the place too perfect. 
In the desire to have the establishment self-sufficient at all 
points, more has been attempted than human nature can 
achieve. The lad is taken to West Point, and it is pre- 
sumed that from the moment of his reception he shall ex- 
pend every energy of his mind and body in making himself 
a soldier. At fifteen he is not to be a boy, at twenty he is 
not to be a young man. He is to be a gentleman, a soldier, 
and an officer. I believe that those who leave the college 
for the army are gentlemen, soldiers, and officers, and, there- 
fore, the result is good. But they are also young men ; and 
it seems that they have become so, not in accordance with 
their training, but in spite of it. 

But I have another complaint to make against the author- 
ities of W est Point, which they will not be able to answer 
so easily as that already preferred. What right can they 
have to take the very prettiest spot on the Hudson — the 
prettiest spot on the continent — one of the prettiest spots 
which Nature, with all her vagaries, ever formed — and shut 
it up from all the world for purposes of war ? Would not 
any plain, however ugly, do for military exercises ? Cannot 
broadsword, goose-step, and double-quick time be instilled 
into young hands and legs in any field of thirty, forty, or 
fifty acres ? I wonder whether these lads appreciate the 
fact that they are studying fourteen hours a day amid the 
sweetest river, rock, and mountain scenery that the imag- 
ination can conceive. Of course it will be said that the 
world at large is not excluded from West Point, that the 
ferry to the place is open, and that there is even a hotel 
there, closed against no man or woman who will consent 
to become a teetotaller for the period of his visit. I must 
admit that this is so ; but still one feels that one is only 
admitted as a guest. I want to go and live at West Point, 
and why should I be prevented ? The government had a 
right to buy it of course, but government should not buy 
up the prettiest spots on a country's surface. If I were an 
American, I should make a grievance of this; but Amer- 
icans will suffer things from their government which no 
Englishmen would endure. 

It is one of the peculiarities of West Point that every- 
thing there is in good taste. The point itself consists of a 


194 • 


blaflf of land so formed that the River Hudson is forced to 
run round three sides of it. It is consequently a peninsula; 
and as the surrounding country is mountainous on both 
sides of the river, it may be imagined that the site is good. 
The views both up and down the river are lovely, and the 
mountains behind break themselves so as to make the land- 
scape perfect. But this is not all. At West Point there 
is much of buildings, much of military arrangement in the 
way of cannons, forts, and artillery yards. All these things 
are so contrived as to group themselves well into pictures. 
There is no picture of architectural grandeur ; but every- 
thing stands well and where it should stand, and the eye is 
not hurt at any spot. I regard West Point as a delightful 
place, and was much gratified by the kindness I received 

From West Point we went direct to New York. 



I THINK it may be received as a fact that the Northern 
States, taken together, sent a full tenth of their able-bodied 
men into the ranks of the army in the course of the summer 
and autumn of 1861. The South, no doubt, sent a much 
larger proportion ; but the effect of such a drain upon the 
South would not be the same, because the slaves were left 
at home to perform the agricultural work of the country. I 
very much doubt whether any other nation ever made such 
an effort in so short a time. To a people who can do this 
it may well be granted that they are in earnest ; and I do 
not think it should be lightly decided by any foreigner that 
they are wrong. The strong and unanimous impulse of a 
great people is seldom wrong. And let it be borne in mind 
that in this case both people maybe right — the people both 
of North and South. Each may have been guided by a 



just and noble feeling, though each waF5 brought to its pres- 
ent condition by bad government and dishonest statesmen. 

There can be no doubt that, since the commencement of 
the war the American feeling against England has been very 
bitter. All Americans to whom I spoke on the subject ad- 
mitted that it was so. I, as an Englishman, felt strongly 
the injustice of this feeling, and lost no opportunity of 
showing, or endeavoring to show, that the line of conduct 
pursued by England toward the States was the only line 
which was compatible with her own policy and just interests 
and also with the dignity of the States government. I 
heard much of the tender sympathy of Russia. Russia 
sent a flourishing general message, saying that she wished 
the North might win, and ending with some good general 
advice proposing peace. It was such a message as strong 
nations send to those which are weaker. Had England ven- 
tured on such counsel, the diplomatic paper would probably 
have been returned to her. It is, I think, manifest that an 
absolute and disinterested neutrality has been the only 
course which could preserve England from deserved rebuke 
— a neutrality on which her commercial necessity for im- 
porting cotton or exporting her own manufactures should 
have no effect. That our government would preserve such 
a neutrality I have always insisted ; and I believe it has 
been done with a pure and strict disregard to any selfish 
views on the part of Great Britain. So far I think England 
may feel that she has done well in this matter. But I must 
confess that I have not been so proud of the tone of all oar 
people at home as I have been of the decisions of our states- 
men. It seems to me that some of us never tire in abusing 
the Americans, and calling them names for having allowed 
themselves to be driven into this civil war. We tell them 
that they are fools and idiots ; we speak of their doings as 
though there had been some plain course by which the war 
might have been avoided ; and we throw it in their teeth 
that tliey have no capability for war. We tell them of the 
debt which they are creating, and point out to them that 
they can never pay it. We laugh at their attempt to sus- 
tain loyalty, and speak of them as a steady father of a family 
is wont to speak of some unthrifty prodigal who is throwing 
away his estate and hurrying from one ruinous debauchery 
to another. And, alas ! we too frequently allow to escape 
from us some expression of that satisfaction which one rival 



tradesman has in the downfall of anotlier. " Here you are 
with all your boasting," is what we say. "You were going 
to whip all creation the other day ; and it has come to this I 
Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better. Pray remem- 
ber that, if ever you find yourselves on your legs again." 
That little advice about the two dogs is very well, and was 
not altogether inapplicable. But this is not the time in 
which it should be given. Putting aside slight asperities, 
we will all own that the people of the States have been and 
are our friends, and that as friends we cannot spare them. 
For one Englishman who brings home to his own heart a 
feeling of cordiality for France — a belief in the affection of 
our French alliance — there are ten who do so with reference 
to the States. Now, in these days of their trouble, I think 
that we might have borne with them more tenderly. 

And how was it possible that they should have avoided 
this war ? I will not now go into the cause of it, or discuss 
the course which it has taken, but will simply take up the 
fact of the rebellion. The South rebelled against the North ; 
and such being the case, was it possible that the North 
should yield without a war ? It may very likely be well 
that Hungary should be severed from Austria, or Poland 
from Russia, or Yenice from Austria. Taking Englishmen 
in a lump, they think that such separation would be well. 
The subject people do not speak the language of those that 
govern them or enjoy kindred interests. But yet when mil- 
itary efforts are made by those who govern Hungary, Po- 
land, and Yenice to prevent such separation, we do not say 
that Russia and Austria are fools. We are not surprised 
that they should take up arms against the rebels, but would 
be very much surprised indeed if they did not do so. We 
know that nothing but weakness would prevent their doing 
so. But if Austria and Russia insist on tying to themselves 
a people who do not speak their language or live in accord- 
ance with their habits, and are not considered unreasonable 
in so insisting, how much more thoroughly would they carry 
with them the sympathy of their neighbors in preventing 
any secession by integral parts of their own nationalities ! 
Would England let Ireland walk off by herself, if she wished 
it? In 1843 she did wish it. Three-fourths of the Irish 
population would have voted for such a separation ; but Eng- 
land would have prevented such a secession vi et armis, had 
Ireland driven her to the necessity of such prevention. 



I will put it to any reader of history whether, since gov- 
ernment commenced, it has not been regarded as the first 
duty of government to prevent a separation of the territo- 
ries governed ; and whether, also, it has not been regarded 
as a point of honor with all nationalities to preserve unin- 
jured each its own greatness and its own power ? I trust 
that I may not be thought to argue that all governments, 
or even all nationalities, should succeed in such endeavors. 
Few kings have fallen, in my day, in whose fate I have not 
rejoiced — none, I take it, except that poor citizen King of 
the French. And I can rejoice that England lost her Amer- 
ican colonies, and shall rejoice when Spain has been deprived 
of Cuba. But I hold that citizen King of the French in 
small esteem, seeing that he made no fight ; and I know 
that England was bound to struggle when the Boston peo- 
ple threw her tea into the water. Spain keeps a tighter 
hand on Cuba than we thought she would some ten years 
since, and therefore she stands higher in the world's respect. 

It may be well that the South should be divided from the 
North. I am inclined to think that it would be well — at any 
rate for the North ; but the South must have been aware 
that such division could only be effected in two ways : either 
by agreement, in which case the proposition must have been 
brought forward by the South and discussed by the North, 
or by violence. They chose the latter way, as being the 
readier and the surer, as most seceding nations have done. 
O'Connell, when struggling for the secession of Ireland, 
chose the other, and nothing came of it. The South chose 
violence, and prepared for it secretly and with great adroit- 
ness. If that be not rebellion, there never has been rebel- 
lion since history began ; and if civil war was ever justified 
in one portion of a nation by turbulence in another, it has 
now been justified in the Northern States of America. 

What was the North to do ; this foolish North, which 
has been so liberally told by us that she has taken up arms 
for nothing, that she is fighting for nothing, and will ruin 
herself for nothing ? When was she to take the first step 
toward peace ? Surely every Englishman will remember 
that when the earliest tidings of the coming quarrel reached 
us on the election of Mr. Lincoln, we all declared that any 
division was impossible ; it was a mere madness to speak 
of it. The States, which were so great in their unity, would 
never consent to break up all their prestige and all their 




power by a separation ! Would it have been well for the 
North then to say, " If the South wish it we will certainly 
separate ?" After that, when Mr. Lincoln assumed the 
power to which he had been elected, and declared with suf- 
ficient manliness, and sufficient dignity also, that he would 
make no war upon the South, but would collect the customs 
and carry on the government, did we turn round and advise 
him that he was wrong ? No. The idea in England then 
was that his message was, if anything, too mild. " If he 
means to be President of the whole Union," England said, 
" he must come out with something stronger than that." 
Then came Mr. Seward's speech, which was, in truth, weak 
enough. Mr, Seward had ran Mr. Lincoln very hard for 
the President's chair on the Republican interest, and was, 
most unfortunately, as I think, made Secretary of State by 
Mr. Lincoln, or by his party. The Secretary of State holds 
the highest office in the United States government under 
the President. He cannot be compared to our Prime 
Minister, seeing that the President himself exercises po- 
litical power, and is responsible for its exercise. Mr. Sew- 
ard's speech simply amounted to a declaration that separa- 
tion was a thing of which the Union would neither hear, 
speak, nor, if possible, think. Things looked very like it ; 
but no, they could never come to that I The world was 
too good, and especially the American world. Mr. Seward 
had no specific against secession ; but let every free man 
strike his breast, look up to heaven, determine to be good, 
and all would go right. A great deal had been expected 
from Mr. Seward, and when this speech came out, we in 
England were a little disappointed, and nobody presumed 
even then that the North would let the South go. 

It will be argued by those who have gone into the details 
of American politics that an acceptance of the Crittenden 
compromise at this point would have saved the war. What 
is or was the Crittenden compromise I will endeavor to 
explain hereafter ; but the terms and meaning of that com- 
promise can have no bearing on the subject. The Republi- 
can party who were in power disapproved of that com- 
promise, and could not model their course upon it. The 
Republican party may have been right or may have been 
wrong ; but surely it will not be argued that any political 
party elected to power by a majority should follow the 
policy of a minority, lest that minority sliould rebel. I can 



conceive of no government more lowly placed than one which 
deserts the policy of the majority which supports it, fearing 
either the tongues or arms of a minority. 

As the next scene in the play, the State of South Caro- 
lina bombarded Fort Sumter. Was that to be the moment 
for a peaceable separation ? Let us suppose that O'Connell 
had marched down to the Pigeon House, at Dublin, and had 
taken it, in 1843, let us say, would that have been an argu- 
ment to us for allowing Ireland to set up for herself? Is 
that the way of men's minds, or of the minds of nations ? 
The powers of the President were defined bylaw, as agreed 
upon among all the States of the Union, and against that 
power and against that law South Carolina raised her 
hand, and the other States joined her in rebellion. When 
circumstances had come to that, it was no longer possible 
that the North should shun the war. To my thinking the 
rights of rebellion are holy. Where would the world have 
been, or where would the world hope to be, without rebel- 
lion ? But let rebellion look the truth in the face, and not 
blanch from its own consequences. She has to judge her 
own opportunities and to decide on her own fitness. Success 
is the test of her judgment. But rebellion can never be suc- 
cessful except by overcoming the power against which she 
raises herself. She has no right to expect bloodless tri- 
umphs ; and if she be not the stronger in the encounter 
which she creates, she must bear the penalty of her rash- 
ness. Rebellion is justified by being better served than 
constituted authority, but cannot be justified otherwise. 
Now and again it may happen that rebellion's cause is so 
good that constituted authority will fall to the ground at 
the first glance of her sword. This was so the other day in 
Naples, when Garibaldi blew away the king's armies with a 
breath. But this is not so often. Rebellion knows that it 
must fight, and the legalized power against which rebels 
rise must of necessity tight also. 

I cannot see at what point the North first sinned ; nor 
do I think that had the North yielded, England would have 
honored her for her meekness. Had she yielded without 
striking a blow, she would have been told that she had suf- 
fered the Union to drop asunder by her supineness. She 
would have been twitted with cowardice, and told that she 
was no match for Southern energy. It would then have 
seemed to those who sat in judgment on her that she might 



have righted everything by that one blow from which she 
had abstained. But having struck that one blow, and hav- 
ing found that it did not suffice, could she then withdraw, 
give way, and own herself beaten? Has it been so usually 
with Anglo-Saxon pluck? In such case as that, would 
there have been no mention of those two dogs, Brag and 
Holdfast? Tlie man of the Northern States knows that 
he has bragged — bragged as loudly as his English fore- 
fathers. In that matter of bragging, the British lion and 
the star-spangled banner may abstain from throwing mud 
at each other. And now the Northern man wishes to show 
that he can hold fast also. Looking at all this I cannot 
see that peace has been possible to the North. 

As to the question of secession and rebellion being one 
and the same thing, the point to me does not seem to bear 
an argument. The confederation of States had a common 
army, a common policy, a common capital, a common gov- 
ernment, and a common debt. If one might secede, any 
or all might secede, and where then would be their property, 
their debt, and their servants ? A confederation with such 
a license attached to it would have been simply playing at 
national power. If New York had seceded — a State which 
stretches from the Atlantic to British North America — it 
would have cut New England off from the rest of the Union. 
Was it legally within the power of New York to place the 
six States of New England in such a position? And why 
should it be assumed that so suicidal a power of destroying 
a nationality should be inherent in every portion of the 
nation ? The States are bound together by a written com- 
pact, but that compact gives each State no such power. 
Surely such a power would have been specified had it been 
intended that it should be given. But there are axioms in 
politics as in mathematics, which recommend themselves to 
the mind at once, and require no argument for their proof. 
Men who are not argumentative perceive at once that they 
are true. A part cannot be greater than the whole. 

I think it is plain that the remnant of the Union was 
bound to take up arms against those States which had 
illegally torn themselves off from her ; and if so, she could 
only do so with such weapons as were at her hand. The 
United States army had never been numerous or well ap- 
pointed ; and of such "officers and equipments as it pos- 
sessed, the more valuable part was in the hands of the 



Southerners. It was clear enongli that she was ill pro- 
vided, and that in going to war she was undertaking a 
work as to which she had still to learn many of the rudi- 
ments. But Englishmen should be the last to twit her with 
such ignorance. It is not yet ten years since we were all 
boasting that swords and guns were useless things, and 
that military expenditure might be cut down to any mini- 
mum figure that an economizing Chancellor of the Exche- 
quer could name. Since that we have extemporized two 
if not three armies. There are our volunteers at home; 
and the army which holds India can hardly be considered 
as one with that which is to maintain our prestige in 
Europe and the West. We made some natural blunders 
in the Crimea, but in making those blunders we taught our- 
selves the trade. It is the misfortune of the Northern 
States that they must learn these lessons in fighting their 
own countrymen. In the course of our history we have 
suflered the same calamity more than once. The Round- 
heads, who beat the Cavaliers and created English liberty, 
made themselves soldiers on the bodies of their country- 
men. But England was not ruined by that civil war; nor 
was she ruined by those which preceded it. From out of 
these she came forth stronger than she entered them — . 
stronger, better, and more fit for a great destiny in the 
history of nations. The Northern States had nearly five 
hundred thousand men under arms when the winter of 1861 
commenced, and for that enormous multitude all commis- 
sariat requirements were well supplied. Camps and bar- 
racks sprang up through the country as though by magic. 
Clothing was obtained with a rapidity that has, I think, 
never been equaled. The country had not been prepared 
for the fabrication of arms, and yet arras were put into the 
men's hands almost as quickly as the regiments could be 
mustered. The eighteen millions of the Northern States 
lent themselves to the effort as one man. Each State gave 
the best it had to give. Newspapers were as rabid against 
each other as ever, but no newspaper could live which did 
not support the war. " The South has rebelled against the 
law, and the law shall be supported." This has been the 
cry and the heartfelt feeling of all men ; and it is a feeling 
which cannot but inspire respect. 

We have heard much of the tyranny of the present gov- 
ernment of the United States, and of the tyranny also of 



the people. Tbey have both been very tyrannical. The 
"habeas corpus" has been suspended by the word of one 
man. Arrests have been made on men who have been 
hardly suspected of more than secession principles. Arrests 
have, I believe, been made in cases which have been desti- 
tute even of any fair ground for such suspicion. News- 
papers have been stopped for advocating views opposed to 
the feelings of the North, as freely as newspapers were ever 
stopped in France for opposing the Emperor. A man has 
not been safe in the streets who was known to be a seces- 
sionist. It must be at once admitted that opinion in the 
Northern States was not free when I was there. But has 
opinion ever been free anywhere on all subjects? In the 
best built strongholds of freedom, have there not always 
been questions on which opinion has not been free; and 
must it not always be so ? When the decision of a people 
on any matter has become, so to say, unanimous — when it 
has shown itself to be so general as to be clearly the ex- 
pression of the nation's voice as a single chorus, that deci- 
sion becomes holy, and may not be touched. Could any 
newspaper be produced in England which advocated the 
overthrow of the Queen ? And why may not the passion 
for the Union be as strong with the Northern States, as 
the passion for the Crown is strong with us? The Crown 
with us is in no danger, and therefore the matter is at rest. 
But I think we must admit that in any nation, let it be 
ever so free, there may be points on which opinion must be 
held under restraint. And as to those summary arrests, 
and the suspension of the "habeas corpus," is there not 
something to be said for the States government on that 
head also ? Military arrests are very dreadful, and the 
soul of a nation's liberty is that personal freedom from 
arbitrary interference which is signified to the world by 
those two unintelligible Latin words. A man's body shall 
not be kept in duress at any man's will, but shall be brought 
up into open court, with uttermost speed, in order that the 
law may say whether or no it should be kept in duress. 
That I take it is the meaning of "habeas corpus," and it is 
easy to see that the suspension of that privilege destroys 
all freedom, and places the liberty of every individual at 
the mercy of him who has the power to suspend it. Nothing 
can be worse than this : and such suspension, if extended 
over any long period of years, will certainly make a nation 



weak, mean spirited, and poor. But in a period of civil 
war, or even of a widely-extended civil commotion, things 
cannot work in tlieir accustomed grooves. A lady does 
not willingly get out of her bedroom-window with nothing 
on but her nightgown; but when her house is on fire she 
is very thankful for an opportunity of doing so. It is not 
long since the "habeas corpus" was suspended in parts of 
Ireland, and absurd arrests were made almost daily when 
that suspension first took effect. It was grievous that 
there should be necessity for such a step; and it is very 
grievous now that such necessity should be felt in the 
Northern States. But I do not think that it becomes Eng- 
lishmen to bear hardly upon Americans generally for what 
has been done in that matter. Mr. Seward, in an official 
letter to the British Minister at Washington — which letter, 
through official dishonesty, found its way to the press — 
claimed for the President the right of suspending the 
"habeas corpus" in the States whenever it might seem good 
to him to do so. If this be in accordance with the law of 
the land, which I think must be doubted, the law of the 
land is not favorable to freedom. For myself, I conceive 
that Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward have been wrong in their 
law, and that no such right is given to the President by 
the Constitution of the United States. This I will attempt 
to prove in some subsequent chapter. But I think it must 
be felt by all who have given any thought to the Constitu- 
tion of the States, that let what may be the letter of the 
law, the Presidents of the United States have had no such 
power. It is because the States have been no longer 
united, that Mr. Lincoln has had the power, whether it be 
given to him by the law or no. 

And then as to the debt ; it seems to me very singular 
that we in England should suppose that a great commercial 
people would be ruined by a national debt. As regards 
ourselves, I have always looked on our national debt as 
the ballast in our ship. We have a great deal of ballast, 
but then the ship is very big. The States also are taking 
in ballast at a rather rapid rate; and we too took it in 
quickly when we were about it. But I cannot understand 
why their ship should not carry, without shipwreck, that 
which our ship has carried without damage, and, as I be- 
lieve, with positive advantage to its sailing. The ballast, 
if carried honestly, will not, I think, bring the vessel to 



grief. The fear is lest the ballast should be thrown over- 

So much I have said wishing to plead the cause of the 
Northern States before the bar of English opinion, and 
thinking tliat there is ground for a plea in their favor. But 
yet I cannot say that their bitterness against Englishmen has 
been justified, or that their tone toward England has been 
dignified. Their complaint is that they have received no 
sympathy from England ; but it seems to me that a great 
nation should not require an expression of sympathy during 
its struggle. Sympathy is for the weak rather than for the 
strong. When I hear two powerful men contending to- 
gether in argument, I do not sympathize with him who has 
the best of it ; but I watch the precision of his logic and 
acknowledge the effects of his rhetoric. There has been a 
whining weakness in the complaints made by Americans 
against England, which has done more to lower them as a 
people in my judgment than any other part of their conduct 
during the present crisis. When we were at war with Rus- 
sia, the feeling of the States was strongly against us. All 
their wishes were with our enemies. When the Indian mu- 
tiny was at its worst, the feeling of France was equally 
adverse to us. The joy expressed by the French newspa- 
pers was almost ecstatic. But I do not think that on either 
occasion we bemoaned ourselves sadly on the want of sym- 
pathy shown by our friends. On each occasion we took the 
opinion expressed for what it was worth, and managed to 
live it down. We listened to what was said, and let it pass 
by. When in each case we had been successful, there was 
an end of our friends' croakings. 

But in the Northern States of America the bitterness 
against England has amounted almost to a passion. The 
players — those chroniclers of the time — have had no hits 
so sure as those which have been aimed at Englishmen as 
cowards, fools, and liars. No paper has dared to say that 
England has been true in her American policy. The name 
of an Englishman has been made a by-word for reproach. 
In private intercourse private amenities have remained. I, 
at any rate, may boast that such has been the case as re- 
gards myself. But, even in private life, I have been unable 
to keep down the feeling that I have always been walking 
over smothered ashes. 

It may be that, when the civil war in America is over, all 



this will pass by, and there will be nothing left of interna- 
tional bitterness but its memory. It is sincerely to be hoped 
that this may be so — tliat even the memory of the existing 
feeling may fade away and become unreal. I for one can- 
not think that two nations situated as are the States and 
England should permanently quarrel and avoid each other. 
But words have been spoken which will, I fear, long sound 
in men's ears, and thoughts have sprung up which will not 
easily allow themselves to be extinguished. 



Speaking of 'New York as a traveler, I have two faults 
to find with it. In the first place, there is nothing to see ; 
and, in the second place, there is no mode of getting about 
to see anything. Nevertheless, New York is a most inter- 
esting city. It is the third biggest city in the known world, 
for those Chinese congregations of unwinged ants are not 
cities in the known world. In no other city is there a pop- 
ulation so mixed and cosmopolitan in their modes of life. 
And yet in no other city that I have seen are there such 
strong and ever visible characteristics of the social and 
political bearings of the nation to which it belongs. New 
York appears to me as infinitely more American than Bos- 
ton, Chicago, or Washington. It has no peculiar attribute 
of its own, as have those three cities — Boston in its litera- 
ture and accomplished intelligence, Chicago in its internal 
trade, and Washington in its Congressional and State pol- 
itics. New York has its literary aspirations, its commercial 
grandeur, and. Heaven knows, it has its politics also. But 
these do not strike the visitor as being specially character- 
istic of the city. That it is pre-eminently American is its 
glory or its disgrace, as men of different ways of thinking 
may decide upon it. Free institutions, general education, and 
the ascendency of dollars are the words written on every 
paving-stone along Fifth Avenue, down Broadway, and up 




Wall Street. Every man can vote, and values the privi- 
lege, Ever}^ man can read, and uses the privilege. Every 
man worships the dollar, and is down before his shrine from 
morning to night. 

As regards voting and reading, no American will be angry 
with me for saying so much of him ; and no Englishman, 
whatever may be his ideas as to the franchise in his own 
country, will conceive that I have said aught to the dishonor 
of an American. But as to that dollar-worshiping, it will 
of course seem that I am abusing the New Yorkers. We 
all know what a wretchedly wicked thing money is — how it 
stands between us and Heaven — how it hardens our hearts 
and makes vulgar our thoughts ! Dives has ever gone to 
the devil, while Lazarus has been laid up in heavenly lav- 
ender. The hand that employs itself in compelling gold to 
enter the service of man has always been stigmatized as 
the ravisher of things sacred. The world is agreed about 
that, and therefore the New Yorker is in a bad way. 
There are very few citizens in any town known to me which 
under this dispensation are in a good way, but the New 
Yorker is in about the worst way of all. Other men, the 
world over, worship regularly at the shrine with matins and 
vespers, nones and complines, and whatever other daily ser- 
vices may be known to the religious houses ; but the New 
Yorker is always on his knees. 

That is the amount of the charge which I bring against 
New York ; and now, having laid on my paint thickly, I 
shall proceed, like an unskillful artist, to scrape a great deal 
of it off again. New York has been a leading commercial 
city in' the world for not more than fifty or sixty years. As 
far as I can learn, its population at the close of the last 
century did not exceed 60,000, and ten years later it had 
not reached 100,000. In 1860 it had reached nearly 800,000 
in the City of New York itself. To this number must be 
added the numbers of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Jer- 
sey City, in order that a true conception may be had 
of the population of this American metropolis, seeing that 
those places are as much a part of New York as Southwark 
is of London. By this the total will be swelled to consid- 
erably above a million. It will no doubt be admitted that 
this growth has been very fast, and that New York may well 
be proud of it. Increase of population is, I take it, the 
only trustworthy sign of a nation's success or of a city's 



success. We boast that London has beaten the other cities 
of the world, and think that that boast is enough to cover 
all the social sins for which London has to confess her guilt. 
New York, beginning with 00,000 sixty years since, has now 
a million souls — a million mouths, all of which eat a suffi- 
ciency of bread, all of which speak ore rotundo, and almost 
all of which can read. And this has come of its love of 

For myself I do not believe that Dives is so black as he 
is painted or that his peril is so imminent. To reconcile 
such an opinion with holy writ might place me in some dif- 
ficulty were I a clergyman. Clergymen, in these days, are 
surrounded by difficulties of this nature — finding it neces- 
sary to explain away many old-established teachings which 
narrowed the Christian Church, and to open the door wide 
enough to satisfy the aspirations and natural hopes of in- 
structed men. The brethren of Dives are now so many and 
so intelligent that they will no longer consent to be damned 
without looking closely into the matter themselves. I will 
leave them to settle the matter with the Church, merely as- 
suring them of my sympathy in their little difficulties in any 
case in which mere money causes the hitch. 

To eat his bread in the sweat of his brow was man's curse 
in Adam's day, but is certainly man's blessing in our day. 
And what is eating one's bread in the sweat of one's brow 
but making money ? I will believe no man who tells me 
that he would not sooner earn two loaves than one — and if 
two, then two hundred. I will believe no man who tells me 
that he would sooner earn one dollar a day than two — and 
if two, then two hundred. That is, in the very nature of 
the argument, caeteris paribus. When a man tells me that 
he would prefer one honest loaf to two that are dishonest, 
I will, in all possible cases, believe him. So also a man 
may prefer one quiet loaf to two that are unquiet. But 
under circumstances that are the same, and to a man who 
is sane, a whole loaf is better than half, and two loaves are 
better than one. The preachers have preached well, but on 
this matter they have preached in vain. Dives has never 
believed that he will be damned because he is Dives. He 
has never even believed that the temptations incident to his 
position have been more than a fair counterpoise, or even 
so much as a fair counterpoise, to his opportunities for doing 
good. All men who work desire to prosper by their work, 



and they so desire by the nature given to them from God. 
Wealth and progress must go on hand in hand together, let 
the accidents which occasionally divide them for a time hap- 
pen as often as they may. The progress of the Americans 
has been caused by their aptitude for money-making ; and 
that continual kneeling at the shrine of the coined goddess 
has carried them across from New York to San Francisco. 
Men who kneel at that shrine are called on to have ready 
wits and quick hands, and not a little aptitude for self-denial 
The New Yorker has been true to his dollar because his 
dollar has been true to him. 

But not on this account can I, nor on this account will 
any Englishman, reconcile himself to the savor of dollars 
which pervades the atmosphere of New York. The ars 
celare arlem is wanting. The making of money is the 
work of man; but he need not take his work to bed with 
him, and have it ever by his side at table, amid his family, 
in church, while he disports himself, as he declares his pas- 
sion to the girl of his heart, in the moments of his softest 
bliss, and at the periods of his most solemn ceremonies. 
That many do so elsewhere than in New York — in London, 
for instance, in Paris, among the mountains of Switzerland, 
and the steppes of Russia — I do not doubt. But there is 
generally a vail thrown over the object of the worshiper's 
idolatry. In New York one's ear is constantly tilled with 
the fanatic's voice as he prays, one's eyes are always on the 
familiar altar. The frankincense from the temple is ever 
in one's nostrils. I have never walked down Fifth Avenue 
alone without thinking of money. I have never walked 
there with a companion without talking of it. I fancy that 
every man there, in order to maintain the spirit of the 
place, should bear on his forehead a label stating how many 
dollars he is worth, and that every label should be expected 
to assert a falsehood. 

I do not think that New York has been less generous in 
the use of its money than other cities, or that the men of 
New York generally are so. Perhaps I might go farther 
and say that in no city has more been achieved for humanity 
by the munificence of its richest citizens than in New York. 
Its hospitals, asylums, and institutions for the relief of all 
ailments to which flesh is heir, are very numerous, and be- 
yond praise in the excellence of their arrangements. And 
this has been achieved in a great degree by private liberality. 



Men in America are not as a rule anxious to leave large 
fortunes to their children. The millionaire when making 
his will very generally gives back a considerable portion of 
the wealth which he has made to the city in which he made 
it. The rich citizen is always anxious that the poor citizen 
shall be relieved. It is a point of honor with him to raise 
the character of his municipality, and to provide that the 
deaf and dumb, the blind, the mad, the idiots, the old, and 
the incurable shall have such alleviation in their misfortune 
as skill and kindness can afford. 

Nor is the New Yorker a hugger-mugger with his money. 
He does not hide up his dollars in old stockings and keep 
rolls of gold in hidden pots. He does not even invest it 
where it will not grow but only produce small though sure 
fruit. He builds houses, he speculates largely, he spreads 
himself in trade to the extent of his wings — and not seldom 
somewhat farther. He scatters his wealth broadcast over 
strange fields, trusting that it may grow with an increase 
of a hundredfold, but bold to bear the loss should the 
strange field prove itself barren. His regret at losing his 
money is by no means commensurate with his desire to 
make it. In this there is a living spirit which to me divests 
the dollar-worshiping idolatry of something of its ugliness. 
The hand when closed on the gold is instantly reopened. 
The idolator is anxious to get, but he is anxious also to 
spend. He is energetic to the last, and has no comfort 
with his stock unless it breeds with Transatlantic rapidity 
of procreation. 

So much I say, being anxious to scrape off" some of that 
daub of black paint with which I have smeared the face of 
my New Yorker ; but not desiring to scrape it all off. For 
myself, I do not love to live amid the clink of gold, and 
never have "a good time," as the Americans say, when the 
price of shares and percentages come up in conversation. 
That state of men's minds here which I have endeavored to 
explain tends, I think, to make New York disagreeable. 
A stranger there who has no great interest in percentages 
soon finds himself anxious to escape. By degrees he per- 
ceives that he is out of his element, and had better go 
away. He calls at the bank, and when he shows himself 
ignorant as to the price at which his sovereigns should be 
done, he is conscious that he is ridiculous. He is like a 
man who goes out hunting for the first time at forty vears 




of age. He feels himself to be in the wrong place, and is 
anxious to get out of it. Such was ray experience of New 
York, at each of the visits that I paid to it. 

But yet, I say again, no other American city is so in- 
tensely American as New York. It is generally considered 
that the inhabitants of.New England, the Yankees properly 
so called, have the American characteristics of physiognomy 
in the fullest degree. The lantern jaws, the thin and lithe 
body, the dry face on which there has been no tint of the 
rose since the baby's long-clothes were first abandoned, the 
harsh, thick hair, the thin lips, the intelligent eyes, the 
sharp voice with the nasal twang — not altogether harsh, 
though sharp and nasal — all these traits are supposed to 
belong especially to the Yankee. Perhaps it was so once, 
but at present they are, I think, more universally common 
in New York than in any other part of the States. Go to 
Wall Street, the front of the Astor House, and the regions 
about Trinity Church, and you will find them in their fullest 

What circumstances of blood or food, of early habit or 
subsequent education, have created for the latter-day Ameri- 
can his present physiognomy ? It is as completely marked, 
as much his own, as is that of any race under the sun that 
has bred in and in for centuries. But the American owns 
a more mixed blood than any other race known. The 
chief stock is English, which is itself so mixed tliat no man 
can trace its ramifications. With this are mingled the 
bloods of Ireland, Holland, France, Sweden, and Germany. 
All this has been done within but a few years, so that the 
American may be said to have no claim to any national 
type of face. Nevertheless, no man has a type of face so 
clearly national as the American. He is acknowledged by 
it all over the continent of Europe, and on his own side of 
the water is gratified by knowing that he is never mistaken 
for his English visitor. I think it comes from the hot-air 
pipes and from dollar worship. In the Jesuit his mode of 
dealing with things divine has given a peculiar cast of 
countenance ; and why should not the American be simi- 
larly moulded by his special aspirations? As to the hot- 
air pipes, there can, I think, be no doubt that to them is to 
be charged the murder of all rosy cheeks throughout the 
States. If the efiect was to be noticed simply in the dry 
faces of the men about Wall Street, I should be very indif- 



ferent to the matter. But the young ladies of Fifth Avenue 
are in the same category. The very pith and marrow of 
life is baked out of their young bones by the hot-air cham- 
bers to which they are accustomed. Hot air is the great 
destroyer of American beauty. 

In saying that there is very little to be seen in I^cwYork 
I have also said that there is no way of seeing that little. 
My assertion amounts to this; that there are no cabs. To 
the reading world at large this may not seem to be much, 
but let the reading workl go to New York, and it will find 
out how much the deficiency means. In London, in Paris, 
in Florence, in Rome, in the Havana, or at Grand Cairo, 
the cab-driver or attendant does not merely drive the cab 
or belabor the donkey, but he is the visitor's easiest and 
cheapest guide. In London, the Tower, Westminster Ab- 
bey, and Madame Tussaud are found by the stranger with- 
out difficulty, and almost without a thought, because the 
cab-driver knows the whereabouts and the way. Space is 
moreover annihilated, and the huge distances of the Eng- 
lish metropolis are brought within the scope of mortal 
power. But in New York there is no such institution. 

In New York there are street omnibuses as we have — ■ 
• there are street cars such as last year we declined to have, 
and there are very excellent public carriages ; but none of 
these give you the accommodation of a cab, nor can all of 
them combined do so. The omnibuses, though clean and 
excellent, were to me very unintelligible. They have no 
conductor to them. To know their different lines and 
usages a man should have made a scientific study of the 
city. To those going up and down Broadway I became 
accustomed, but in them I was never quite at my ease. 
The money has to be paid through a little hole behind the 
driver's back, and should, as I learned at last, be paid im- 
mediately on entrance. * But in getting up to do this I 
always stumbled about, and it would happen that when 
with considerable difficulty I had settled my own account, 
two or three ladies would enter, and would hand me, with- 
out a word, some coins with which I had no life-long famil- 
iarity, in order that I might go through the same ceremony 
on their account. The change I would usually drop into 
ihe straw, and then there would arise trouble and unhappi- 
ness. Before I became aware of that law as to instant pay- 
ment, bells used to be rung at me, which made me uneasy. 



I knew I was not behaving as a citizen should behave, but 
could not compass the exact points of my delinquency. 
And then, when I desired to escape, the door being strapped 
up tight, I would halloo vainly at the driver through the 
little hole; whereas, had I known my duty, I should have 
rung a bell, or pulled a strap, according to the nature of 
the omnibus in question. In a month or two all these 
things may possibly be learned; but the visitor requires 
his facilities for locomotion at the first moment of his en- 
trance into the city. I heard it asserted by a lecturer in 
Boston, Mr. Wendell Phillips, whose name is there a house- 
hold word, that citizens of the United States carried brains 
in their fingers as well as in their heads; whereas "common 
people," by which Mr. Phillips intended to designate the 
remnant of mankind beyond the United States, were blessed 
with no such extended cerebral development. Having once 
learned this fact from Mr. Phillips, I understood why it was 
that a New York omnibus should be so disagreeable to me, 
and at the same time so suitable to the wants of the New 

And then there are street cars — very long omnibuses — • 
which run on rails but are dragged by horses. They are 
capable of holding forty passengers each, and as far as my 
experience goes carry an average load of sixty. The fare 
of the omnibus is six cents, or three pence. That of the 
street car five cents, or two pence halfpenny. They run 
along the different avenues, taking the length of the city. 
In the upper or new part of the town their course is sim- 
ple enough, but as they descend to the Bowery, Peck Slip, 
and Pearl Street, nothing can be conceived more difficult 
or devious than their courses. The Broadway omnibus, on 
the other hand, is a straightforward, honest vehicle in the 
lower part of the town, becoming, however, dangerous and 
miscellaneous when it ascends to* Union Square and the 
vicinities of fashionable life. 

The street cars are manned with conductors, and, there- 
fore, are free from many of the perils of the omnibus; but 
they have perils of their own. They are always quite full. 
By that I mean that every seat is crowded, that there is a 
double row of men and women standing down the center, 
and that the driver's platform in front is full, and also the 
conductor's platform behind. That is the normal condition 
of a street car in the Third Avenue. You, as a stranger 



in the middle of the car, wish to be put down at, let us 
say, 89th Street. In the map of New York now before 
me, the cross streets running from east to west are num- 
bered up northward as far as 154th Street. It is quite use- 
less for you to give the number as you enter. Even an 
American conductor, with brains all over him, and an 
anxious desire to accommodate, as is the case with all 
these men, cannot remember. You are left therefore in 
misery to calculate the number of the street as you move 
along, vainly endeavoring through the misty glass to 
decipher the small numbers which after a day or two you 
perceive to be written on the lamp posts. 

But I soon gave up all attempts at keeping a seat in one 
of these cars. It became my practice to sit down on the 
outside iron rail behind, and as the conductor generally sat 
in my lap I was in a measure protected. As for the inside 
of these vehicles the women of New York were, I must 
confess, too much for me. I would no sooner place myself 
on a seat, than I would be called on by a mute, unexpress- 
ive, but still impressive stare into my face, to surrender 
my place. From cowardice if not from gallantry I would 
always obey; and as this led to discomfort and an irritated 
spirit, I preferred nursing the conductor on the hard bar in 
the rear. 

And here if I seem to say a word against women in 
America, I beg that it may be understood that I say that 
word only against a certain class; and even as to that class 
I admit that they are respectable, intelligent, and, as I be- 
lieve, industrious. Their manners, however, are to me more 
odious than those of any other human beings that I ever 
met elsewhere. Nor can I go on with that which I have to 
say without carrying my apology further, lest, perchance, 
I should be misunderstood by some American women whom 
I would not only exclude from my censure, but would in- 
clude in the very warmest eulogium which words of mine 
could express as to those of the female sex whom I love 
and admire the most. I have known, do know, and mean 
to continue to know as far as in me may lie, American 
ladies as bright, as beautiful, as graceful, as sweet, as mor- 
tal limits for brightness, beauty, grace, and sweetness will 
permit. They belong to the aristocracy of the land, by 
whatever means they may have become aristocrats. In 
America one does not inquire as to their birth, their train- 



ing, or their old names. The fact of their aristocratic 
power comes out in every word and look. It is not only 
so with those who have traveled or with those who are 
rich. I have found female aristocrats with families and 
slender means, who have as yet made no grand tour across 
the ocean. These women are charming beyond expression. 
It is not only their beauty. Had he been speaking of such, 
Wendell Phillips would have been right in saying that they 
have brains all over them. So mucli for those who are 
bright and beautiful, who are graceful and sweet ! And 
now a word as to those who to me are neither bright nor 
beautiful, and who can be to none either graceful or sweet. 

It is a hard task, that of speaking ill of any woman ; but 
it seems to me that he who takes upon himself to praise 
incurs the duty of dispraising also where dispraise is, or to 
him seems to be, deserved. The trade of a novelist is 
very much that of describing the softness, sweetness, and 
loving dispositions of women; and this he does, copying 
as best he can from nature. But if he only sings of that 
which is sweet, whereas that which is not sweet too fre- 
quently presents itself, his song will in the end be untrue 
and ridiculous. Women are entitled to much observance 
from men, but they are entitled to no observance which is 
incompatible with truth. Women, by the conventional 
laws of society, are allowed to exact much from men, but 
they are allowed to exact nothing for which they should 
not make some adequate return. It is well that a man 
should kneel in spirit before the grace and weakness of a 
woman, but it is not well that he should kneel either in 
spirit or body if there be neither grace nor weakness. A 
man should yield everything to a woman for a word, for a 
smile — to one look of entreaty. But if there be no look 
of entreaty, no word, no smile, I do not see that he is 
called upon to yield much. 

The happy privileges with which women are at present 
blessed have come to them from the spirit of chivalry. 
That spirit has taught man to endure in order that women 
may be at their ease ; and has generally taught women to 
accept the ease bestowed on them with grace and thankful- 
ness. But in America the spirit of chivalry has sunk deeper 
among men than it has among women. It must be borne in 
mind that in that country material well-being and education 
are more extended than with us ; and that, therefore, men 



there have learned to be chivalrous who with us have hardly 
progressed so far. The conduct of men to women through- 
out the States is always gracious. They have learned the 
lesson. But it seems to me that the women have not ad- 
vanced as far as the men have done. They have acquired a 
sufficient perception of the privileges which chivalry gives 
them, but no perception of that return which chivalry de- 
mands from them. Women of the class to which I allude 
are always talking of their rights, but seem to have a most 
indifferent idea of their duties. They have no scruple at 
demanding from men everything that a man can be called 
on to relinquish in a woman's behalf, but they do so without 
any of that grace which turns the demand made into a favor 

I have seen much of this in various cities of America, but 
muclTmore of it in New York than elsewhere. I have heard 
young Americans complain of it, swearing that they must 
change the whole tenor of their habits toward women. I 
have heard American ladies speak of it with loathing and 
disgust. For myself, I have entertained on sundry oc- 
casions that sort of feeling for an American woman which 
the close vicinity of an unclean animal produces. I have 
spoken of this with reference to street cars, because in no 
position of life does an unfortunate man become more liable 
to these anti-feminine atrocities than in the center of one of 
these vehicles. The woman, as she enters, drags after her a 
misshapen, dirty mass of battered wirework, which she calls 
her crinoline, and which adds as much to her grace and 
comfort as a log of wood does to a donkey when tied to the 
animal's leg in a paddock. Of this she takes much heed, 
not managing it so that it may be conveyed up the carriage 
with some decency, but striking it about against men's legs, 
and heaving it with violence over people's knees. The touch 
of a real woman's dress is in itself delicate ; but these blows 
from a harpy's fins are as loathsome as a snake's slime. If 
there be two of them they talk loudly together, having a 
theory that modesty has been put out of court by women's 
rights. But, though not modest, the woman I describe is 
ferocious in her propriety. She ignores the whole world 
around her as she sits ; with a raised chin and face flattened 
by atfectation, she pretends to declare aloud that she is 
positively not aware that any man is even near her. She 
speaks as though to her, in her womanhood, the neighbor- 



hood of men was the same as that of dogs or cats. They 
are there, but she does not hear them, see them, or even 
acknowledge them by any courtesy of motion. But her own 
face always gives her the lie. In her assumption of indiffer- 
ence she displays her nasty consciousness, and in each at- 
tempt at a would-be propriety is guilty of an immodesty. 
"Who does not know the timid retiring face of the young 
girl who when alone among men unknown to her feels that 
it becomes her to keep herself secluded ? As many men as 
there are around her, so many knights has such a one, ready 
bucklered for her service, should occasion require such ser- 
vices. Should it not, she passes on unmolested — but not, 
as she herself will wrongly think, unheeded. But as to her 
of whom I am speaking, we may say that every twist of her 
body and every tone of her voice is an unsuccessful false- 
hood. She looks square at you in the face, and you rise to 
give her your seat. You rise from a deference to your own 
old convictions, and from that courtesy which you have ever 
paid to a woman's dress, let it be worn with ever such hide- 
ous deformities. She takes the place from which you have 
moved without a word or a bow. She twists herself round, 
banging your shins with her wires, while her chin is still 
raised, and her face is still flattened, and ^ she directs her 
friend's attention to another seated man, as though that 
place were also vacant, and necessarily at her disposure. 
Perhaps the man opposite has his own ideas about chivalry. 
I have seen such a thing, and have rejoiced to see it. 

Yow will meet these women daily, hourly, everywhere in 
the streets. Now and again you will find them in society, 
making themselves even more odious there than elsewhere. 
Who they are, whence they come, and why they are so unlike 
that other race of women of which 1 have spoken, you will 
settle for yourself. Do we not all say of our chance ac- 
quaintances, after half an hour's conversation, nay, after 
half an hour spent in the same room without conversation, 
that this woman is a lady, and that that other woman is 
not ? They jostle each other even among us, but never 
seem to mix. They are closely allied; but neither imbues 
the other with her attributes. Both shall be equally well 
born, or both shall be equally ill born ; but still it is so. 
The contrast exists in England ; but in America it is much 
stronger. In England women become ladylike or vulgar. 
In the States they are either charming or odious. 



See that female walking down Broadway. She is not 
exactly such a one as her I have attempted to describe on 
her entrance into the street car ; for this lady is well dressed, 
if fine clothes will make well dressing. The machinery of 
her hoops is not battered, and altogether she is a personage 
much more distinguished in all her expenditures. But yet 
she is a copy of the other woman. Look at the train which 
she drags behind her over the dirty pavement, where dogs 
have been, and chewers of tobacco, and everything con- 
cerned with filth except a scavenger. At every hundred 
yards some unhappy man treads upon the silken swab which 
she trails behind her — loosening it dreadfully at the girth 
one would say ; and then see the style of face and the ex- 
pression of features with which she accepts the sinner's half 
muttered apology. The world, she supposes, owes her 
everything because of her silken train, even room enough in 
a crowded thoroughfare to drag it along unmolested. But, 
according to her theory, she owes the world nothing in re- 
turn. She is a woman with perhaps a hundred dollars on 
her back, and having done the world the honor of wearing 
them in the world's presence, expects to be repaid by the 
world's homage and chivalry. But chivalry owes her no- 
thing — nothing, though she walk about beneath a hundred 
times a hundred dollars — nothing, even though she be a 
woman. Let every woman learn this, that chivalry owes 
her nothing unless she also acknowledges her debt to chiv- 
alry. She must acknowledge it and pay it ; and then 
chivalry will not be backward in making good her claims 
upon it. 

All this has come of the street cars. But as it was neces- 
sary that I should say it somewhere, it is as well said on that 
subject as on any other. And now to continue with the 
street cars. They run, as I have said, the length of the 
town, taking parallel lines. They will take you from the 
Astor House, near the bottom of the town, for miles and 
miles northward — half way up the Hudson River — for, I 
believe, five pence. They are very slow, averaging about 
five miles an hour ; but they are very sure. For regular 
inhabitants, who have to travel five or six miles perhaps to 
their daily work, they are excellent. I have nothing really 
to say against the street cars. But they do not fill the place 
of cabs. 

There are, however, public carriages — roomy vehicles, 



dragged by two horses, clean and nice, and very well suited 
to ladies visiting tlie city. But they have none of the at- 
tributes of the cab. As a rule, they are not to be found 
standing about. They are very slow. They are very dear. 
A dollar an hour is the regular charge ; but one cannot 
regulate one's motion by the hour. Going out to dinner 
and back costs two dollars, over a distance which in London 
would cost two shillings. As a rule, the cost is four times 
that of a cab, and the rapidity half that of a cab. Under 
these circumstances, I think I am justified in saying that 
there is no mode of getting about in New York to see 

And now as to the other charge against New York, of 
there being nothing to see. How should there be anything 
there to see of general interest ? In other large cities — 
cities as large in name as New York — there are works of 
art, fine buildings, ruins, ancient churches, picturesque cos- 
tumes, and the tombs of celebrated men. But in New York 
there are none of these things. Art has not yet grown up 
there. One or two fine figures by Crawford are in the town, 
especially that of the Sorrowing Indian, at the rooms of the 
Historical Society; but art is a luxury in a city which fol- 
lows but slowly on the heels of wealth and civilization. Of 
fine buildings — which, indeed, are comprised in art — there 
are none deserving special praise or remark. It might well 
have been that New York should ere this have graced her- 
self with something grand in architecture; but she has not 
done so. Some good architectural effect there is, and much 
architectural comfort. Of ruins, of course, there can be 
none — none, at least, of such ruins as travelers admire, 
though perhaps some of that sort which disgraces rather 
than decorates. Churches there are plenty, but none that 
are ancient. The costume is the same as our own ; and I 
need hardly say that it is not picturesque. And the time 
for the tombs of celebrated men has not yet come. A great 
man's ashes are hardly of value till they have all but ceased 
to exist. 

The visitor to New York must seek his gratification and 
obtain his instruction from the habits and manners of men. 
The American, though he dresses like an Englishman, and 
eats roast beef with a silver fork — or sometimes with a steel 
knife — as does an Englishman, is not like an Englishman in 
his mind, in his aspirations, in his tastes, or in his politics. 


In his mind he is quicker, more universally intelligent, more 
ambitious of general knowledge, less indulgent of stupidity 
and ignorance in others, harder, sharper, brighter with the 
surface brightness of steel, than is an Englishman ; but he 
is more brittle, less enduring, less malleable, and, I think, 
less capable of impressions. The mind of the Englishman 
has more imagination, but that of the American more in- 
cision. The American is a great observer ; but he observes 
things material rather than things social or picturesque. 
He is a constant and ready speculator; but all speculations, 
even those which come of philosophy, are with him more or 
less material. In his aspirations the American is more con- 
stant than an Englishman — or I should rather say he is more 
constant in aspiring. Every citizen of the United States 
intends to do something. Every one thinks himself capa- 
ble of some effort. But in his aspirations he is more limited 
than an Englishman. The ambitious American never soars 
so high as the ambitious Englishman. He does not even 
see up to so great a height, and, when he has raised himself 
somewhat above the crowd, becomes sooner dizzy with his 
own altitude. An American of mark, though always anx- 
ious to show his mark, is always fearful of a fall. In his 
tastes the American imitates the Frenchman. Who shall 
dare to say that he is WTong, seeing that in general matters 
of design and luxury the French have won for themselves 
the foremost name ? I will not say that the American is 
wrong, but I cannot avoid thinking that he is so. I detest 
what is called French taste ; but the world is against me. 
When I complained to a landlord of a hotel out in the West 
that his furniture was useless ; that I could not write at a 
marble table whose outside rim was curved into fantastic 
shapes ; that a gold clock in my bed-room which did not go 
would give me no aid in washing myself ; that a heavy, im- 
movable curtain shut out the light ; and that papier-mache 
chairs with small, fluffy velvet seats were bad to sit on, he an- 
swered me completely by telling me that his house had been 
furnished not in accordance with the taste of England, but 
with that of France. I acknowledged the rebuke, gave up my 
pursuits of literature and cleanliness, and hurried out of the 
house as quickly as I could. All America is now furnishing 
itself by the rules which guided that hotel-keeper. I do 
not merely allude to actual household furniture — to chairs, 
tables, and detestable gilt clocks. The taste of America is 



becoming French in its conversation, French in its comforts 
and French in its discomforts, French in its eating and 
French in its dress, French in its manners, and will become 
French in its art. There are those who will say that Eng- 
lish taste is taking the same direction. I do not think so. 
I strongly hope that it is not so. And therefore I say that 
an Englishman and an American differ in their tastes. 

But of all differences between an Englishman and an 
American, that in politics is the strongest and the most es- 
sential. I cannot here, in one paragraph, define that differ- 
ence with sufficient clearness to make my definition satisfac- 
tory; but I trust that some idea of that difference may be 
conveyed by the general tenor of my book. The American 
and the Englishman are both republicans. The govern- 
ments of the States and of England are probably the two 
purest republican governments in the world. I do not, of 
course, here mean to say that the governments are more 
pure than others, but that the systems are more absolutely 
republican. And yet no men can be much farther asunder 
in politics than the Englishman and the American. The 
American of the present day puts a ballot-box into the 
hands of every citizen, and takes his stand upon that and 
that only. It is the duty of an American citizen to vote ; 
and when he has voted, he need trouble himself no further 
till the time for voting shall come round again. The can- 
didate for whom he has voted represents his will, if he have 
voted with the majority; and in that case he has no right 
to look for further influence. If he have voted with the 
minority, he has no right to look for any influence at all. 
In either case he has done his political work, and may go 
about his business till the next year, or the next two or four 
years, shall have come round. The Englishman, on the 
other hand, will have no ballot-box, and is by no means in- 
clined to depend exclusively upon voters or upon voting. 
As far as voting can show it, he desires to get the sense of 
the country ; but he does not think that that sense will be 
shown by universal suffrage. He thinks that property 
amounting to a thousand pounds will show more of that 
sense than property amounting to a hundred ; but he vrill 
not, on that account, go to work and apportion votes to 
wealth. He thinks that the educated can show more 
of that sense than the uneducated ; but he does not there- 
fore lay down any rule about reading, writing, and arithme- 



tic, or apportion votes to learning. He prefers that all these 
opinions of his shall bring themselves out and operate by 
their own intrinsic weight. Nor does he at all confine him- 
self to voting, in his anxiety to get the sense of the country. 
He takes it in any way that it will show itself, uses it for 
what it is worth, or perhaps far more than it is worth, and 
welds it into that gigantic lever by which the political action 
of the country is moved. Every man in Great Britain, 
whether he possesses any actual vote or no, can do that 
which is tantamount to voting every day of his life by the 
mere expression of his opinion. Public opinion in America 
has hitherto been nothing, unless it has managed to express 
itself by a majority of ballot-boxes. Public opinion in 
England is everything, let votes go as they may. Let the 
people want a measure, and there is no doubt of their ob- 
taining it. Only the people must want it — as they did want 
Catholic emancipation, reform, and corn-law repeal, and as 
they would want war if it were brought home to them that 
their country was insulted. 

In attempting to describe this difference in the political ac- 
tion of the two countries, I am very far from taking all praise 
for England or throwing any reproach on the States. The 
political action of the States is undoubtedly the more logical 
and the clearer. That, indeed, of England is so illogical 
and so little clear that it would be quite impossible for any 
other nation to assume it, merely by resolving to do so. 
Whereas the political action of the States might be assumed 
by any nation to-morrow, and all its strength might be car- 
ried across the water in a few written rules as are the pre- 
scriptions of a physician or the regulations of an infirmary. 
With us the thing has grown of habit, has been fostered by 
tradition, has crept up uncared for, and in some parts un- 
noticed. It can be written in no book, can be described in no 
words, can be copied by no statesmen, and I almost believe 
can be understood by no people but that to whose peculiar 
uses it has been adapted. 

In speaking as I have here done of American taste and 
American politics, I must allude to a special class of Ameri- 
cans who are to be met more generally in New York than else- 
where — men vv^ho are educated, who have generally traveled, 
who are almost always agreeable, but who, as regards their 
politics, are to me the most objectionable of all men. As 
regards taste they are objectionable to me also. But that 




is a small thing ; and as they are quite as likely to be right 
as I am, I will say nothing against their taste. But in politics 
it seems to me that these men liave fallen into the bitterest 
and perhaps into the basest of errors. Of the man who 
begins his life with mean political ideas, having sucked 
them in with his mother's milk, there may be some hope. 
The evil is at any rate the fault of his forefathers rather 
than of himself. But who can have hope of him who, having 
been thrown by birth and fortune into the running river of 
free political activity, has allowed himself to be drifted into 
the stagnant level of general political servility ? There are 
very many such Americans. They call themselves repub- 
licans, and sneer at the idea of a limited monarchy, but they 
declare that there is no republic so safe, so equal for all 
men, so purely democratic as that now existing in France. 
Under the French Empire all men are equal. There is no 
aristocracy ; no oligarchy ; no overshadowing of the little by 
the great. One superior is admitted — admitted on earth, as 
a superior is also admitted in heaven. Under him every- 
thing is level, and, provided he be not impeded, everything 
is free. He knows how to rule, and the nation, allowing 
him the privilege of doing so, can go along its course safely ; 
can eat, drink, and be merry. If few men can rise high, so 
also can few men fall low. Political equality is the one 
thing desirable in a commonwealth, and by this arrangement 
political equality is obtained. Such is the modern creed 
of many an educated republican of the States. 

To me it seems that such a political state is about the 
vilest to which a man can descend. It amounts to a tacit 
abandonment of the struggle which men are making for po- 
litical truth and political beneficence, in order that bread 
and meat may be eaten in peace during the score of years or 
so that are at the moment passing over us. The politicians 
of this class have decided for themselves that the summum 
bonum is to be found in bread and the circus games. If 
they be free to eat, free to rest, free to sleep, free to drink 
little cups of coffee, while the world passes before them, on a 
boulevard, they have tha.t freedom which they covet. But 
equality is necessary as well as freedom. There must be no 
towering trees in this parterre to overshadow the clipped 
shrubs, and destroy the uniformity of a growth which should 
never mount more than two feet above the earth. The 
equality of this politician would forbid any to rise above him 



instead of inviting all to rise up to him. It is the equality of 
fear and of selfishness, and not the equality of courage and 
philanthropy. And brotherhood, too, must be invoked — fra- 
ternity as we may better call it in the jargon of the school. 
Such politicians tell one much of fraternity, and define it 
too. It consists in a general raising of the hat to all man- 
kind ; in a daily walk that never hurries itself into a jostling 
trot, inconvenient to passengers on the pavement ; in a placid 
voice, a soft smile, and a small cup of coffee on a boulevard. 
It means all this, but I could never find that it meant any 
more. There is a nation for which one is almost driven to 
think that such political aspirations as these are suitable ; 
but that nation is certainly not the States of America. 

And yet one finds many American gentlemen who have 
allowed themselves to be drifted into such a theory. They 
have begun the world as republican citizens, and as such 
they must go on. But in their travels and their studies, 
and in the luxury of their life, they have learned to dislike 
the rowdiness of their country's politics. They want things 
to be soft and easy ; as republican as you please, but with 
as little noise as possible. The President is there for four 
years. Why not elect him for eight, for twelve, or for life ? — 
for eternity if it were possible to find one who could con- 
tinue to live ? It is to this way of thinking that Americans 
are driven, when the polish of Europe has made the rough- 
ness of their own elections odious to them. 

" Have you seen any of our great institootions, sir ?" 
That of course is a question which is put to every English- 
man who has visited New York, and the Englishman who 
intends to say that he has seen New York, should visit 
many of them. I went to schools, hospitals, lunatic asy- 
lums, institutes for deaf and dumb, water-works, historical 
societies, telegraph offices, and large commercial establish- 
ments. I rather think that I did my work in a thorough 
and conscientious manner, and I owe much gratitude to 
those who guided me on such occasions. Perhaps I ought 
to describe all these institutions ; but were I to do so, I 
fear that I should inflict fifty or sixty very dull pages on my 
readers. If I could make all that I saw as clear and intel- 
ligible to others as it was made to me who saw it, I might 
do some good. But I know that I should fail. I marveled 
much at the developed intelligence of a room full of deaf 
and dumb pupils, and was greatly astonished at the per- 



formance of one special girl, who seemed to be brighter and 
quicker, and more rapidly easy with her pen than girls gen- 
erally are who can hear and talk ; but I cannot convey my 
enthusiasm to others. On such a subject a writer may be 
correct, may be exhaustive, may be statistically great ; but 
he can hardly be entertaining, and the chances are that he 
will not be instructive. 

In all such matters, however. New York is pre-eminently 
great. All through the States suffering humanity receives 
so much attention that humanity can hardly be said to suf- 
fer. The daily recurring boast of "our glorious institoo- 
tions, sir," always provokes the ridicule of an Englishman. 
The words have become ridiculous, and it would, I think, 
be well for the nation if the term Institution " could be 
excluded from its vocabulary. But, in truth, they are 
glorious. The country in this respect boasts, but it has 
done that which justifies a boast. The arrangements for 
supplying New York with water are magnificent. The 
drainage of the new part of the city is excellent. The 
hospitals are almost alluring. The lunatic asylum which I 
saw was perfect — though I did not feel obliged to the resi- 
dent physician for introducing me to all the worst patients 
as countrymen of my own. "An English lady, Mr. Trol- 
lope. I'll introduce you. Quite a hopeless case. Two 
old women. They've been here fifty years. They're Eng- 
lish. Another gentleman from England, Mr. Trollope. A 
very interesting case I Confirmed inebriety." 

And as to the schools, it is almost impossible to mention 
them with too high a praise. I am speaking here specially 
of New York, though I might say the same of Boston, or 
of all New England. I do not know any contrast that 
would be more surprising to an Englishman, up to that 
moment ignorant of the matter, than that which he would 
find by visiting first of all a free school in London, and 
then a free school in New York. If he would also learn 
the number of children that are educated gratuitously in 
each of the two cities, and also the number in each which 
altogether lack education, he would, if susceptible of sta- 
tistics, be surprised also at that. But seeing and hearing 
are always more effective than mere figures. The female 
pupil at a free school in London is, as a rule, either a rag- 
ged pauper or a charity girl, if not degraded, at least stig- 
matized by the badges and dress of the charity. We Eng- 



lishmen know well the type of each, and have a fairly correct 
idea of the amount of education Avhieh is imparted to them. 
We see the result afterward when the same girls become 
our servants, and tlie wives of our grooms and porters. 
The female pupil at a free school in New York is neither a 
pauper nor a charity girl. She is dressed with the utmost 
decency. She is perfectly cleanly. In speaking to her, 
you cannot in any degree guess whether her father has 
a dollar a day, or three thousand dollars a year. Nor 
will you be enabled to guess by the manner in which her 
associates treat her. As regards her own manner to you, 
it is always the same as though her father were in all re- 
spects your equal. As to the amount of her knowledge, I 
fairly confess that it is terrific. When in the first room 
which I visited, a slight, slim creature was had up before me 
to explain to me the properties of the hypothenuse, I fairly 
confess that, as regards education, I backed down, and that 
I resolved to confine my criticisms to manner, dress, and 
general behavior. In the next room I was more at my 
ease, finding that ancient Roman history was on the tapis. 
"Why did the Romans run away with the Sabine women?" 
asked the mistress, herself a young woman of about three 
and twenty. "Because they were pretty," simpered out a 
little girl with a cherry mouth. The answer did not give 
complete satisfaction, and then followed a somewhat abstruse 
explanation on the subject of population. It was all done 
with good faith and a serious intent, and showed what it 
was intended to show — that the girls there educated had in 
truth reached the consideration of important subjects, and 
that they were leagues beyond that terrible repetition of 
A B C, to which, I fear, that most of our free metropolitan 
schools are still necessarily confined. You and I, reader, 
were we called on to superintend the education of girls of 
sixteen, might not select, as favorite points either the 
hypothenuse or the ancient methods of populating young 
colonies. There may be, and to us on the European side 
of the Atlantic there will be, a certain amount of absurdity 
in the Transatlantic idea that all knowledge is knowledge, 
and that it should be imparted if it be not knowledge of 
evil. But as to the general result, no fair-minded man or 
woman can have a doubt. That the lads and girls in these 
schools are excellently educated, comes home as a fact to the 
mind of any one who will look into the subject. That girl 



could not have got as fair at the hypothenuse without a 
competent and abiding knowledge of much that is very far 
beyond the outside limits of what such girls know with us. 
It was at least manifest in the other examination that the 
girls knew as well as I did who were the Romans, and who 
were the Sabine women. That all this is of use, was shown 
in the very gestures and bearings of the girl. Emollit 
mores, as Colonel Newcombe used to say. That young 
woman whom I had watched while she cooked her hus- 
band's dinner upon the banks of the Mississippi had 
doubtless learned all about the Sabine women, and I feel 
assured that she cooked her husband's dinner all the better 
for that knowledge — and faced the hardships of the world 
with a better front than she would have done had she been 
ignorant on the subject. 

In order to make a comparison between the schools of 
London and those of New York, I have called them both 
free schools. They are, in fact, more free in New York 
than they are in London ; because in New York every boy 
and girl, let his parentage be what it may, can attend these 
schools without any payment. Thus an education as good 
as the American mind can compass, prepared with every 
care, carried on by highly-paid tutors, under ample surveil- 
lance, provided with all that is most excellent in the way 
of rooms, desks, books, charts, maps, and implements, is 
brought actually within the reach of everybody. I need 
not point out to Englishmen how different is the nature of 
schools in London. It must not, however, be supposed 
that these are charity schools. Such is not their nature. 
Let us say what we may as to the beauty of charity as a 
virtue, the recipient of charity in its customary sense among 
us is ever more or less degraded by the position. In the 
States that has been fully understood, and the schools to 
which I allude are carefully preserved from any such taint. 
Throughout the States a separate tax is levied for the main- 
tenance of these schools, and as the taxpayer supports 
them, he is, of course, entitled to the advantage which they 
confer. The child of the non-taxpayer is also entitled, 
and to him the boon, if strictly analyzed, will come in the 
shape of a charity. But under the system as it is arranged, 
this is not analyzed. It is understood that the school is 
open to all in the ward to which it belongs, and no inquiry 
is made whether the pupil's parent has or has not paid any- 



thing toward the school's support. I found this theory 
carried out so far that at the deaf and dumb school, where 
some of the poorer children are wholly provided by the 
institution, care is taken to clotlie them in dresses of differ- 
ent colors and different make, in order that nothing may 
attach to them which has the appearance of a badge. Polit- 
ical economists will see something of evil in this. But 
philanthropists will see very much that is good. 

It is not without a purpose that I have given this some- 
what glowing account of a girls' school in New York so 
soon after my little picture of New York women, as they 
behave themselves in the streets and street cars. It will, 
of course, be said that those women of whom I have spoken, 
by no means in terms of admiration, are the very girls 
whose education has been so excellent. This of course is 
so ; but I beg to remark that I have by no means said that 
an excellent school education will produce all female ex- 
cellencies. The fact, I take it, is this : that seeing how 
high in the scale these girls have been raised, one is anxious 
that they should be raised higher. One is surprised at 
their pert vulgarity and hideous airs, not because they are 
so low in our general estimation, but because they are so 
high. Women of the same class in London are humble 
enough, and therefore rarely offend us who are squeamish. 
They show by their gestures that they hardly think them- 
selves good enough to sit by us ; they apologize for their 
presence ; they conceive it to be their duty to be lowly in 
their gesture. The question is which is best, the crouching 
and crawling, or the impudent, unattractive self-composure. 
Not,- my reader, which action on her part may the better 
conduce to my comfort or to yours. That is by no means 
the question. Which is the better for the woman herself? 
That, I take it, is the point to be decided. That there is 
something better than either, we shall all agree — but to my 
thinking the crouching and crawling is the lowest type of 

At that school I saw some five or six hundred girls col- 
lected in one room, and heard them sing. The singing was 
very pretty, and it was all very nice ; but I own that I was 
rather startled, and to tell the truth somewhat abashed, 
when I was invited to "say a few words to them." No 
idea of such a suggestion had dawned upon me, and I felt 
myself quite at a loss. To be called up before five hundred 



men is bad enough, but how much worse before that num- 
ber of girls ! What could I say but that they were all very 
pretty? As far as I can remember, I did say that and 
nothing else. Yery pretty they were, and neatly dressed, 
and attractive ; but among them all there was not a pair 
of rosy cheeks. How should there be, when every room in 
the building was heated up to the condition of an oven by 
those damnable hot-air pipes. 

In England a taste for very large shops has come up 
during the last twenty years. A firm is not doing a good 
business, or at any rate a distinguished business, unless he 
can assert in his trade card that he occupies at least half a 
dozen houses— Nos. 105, 106, 101, 108, 109 and 110. The 
old way of paying for what you want over the counter is 
gone ; and when you buy a yard of tape or a new carriage — 
for either of which articles you will probably visit the same 
establishment — you go through about the same amount of 
ceremony as when you sell a thousand pounds out of the 
stocks in propria persona. But all this is still further ex- 
aggerated in New York. Mr. Stewart's store there is per- 
haps the handsomest institution in the city, and his hall of 
audience for new carpets is a magnificent saloon. "You 
have nothing like that in England," my friend said to me 
as he walked me through it in triumph. "I wish we had' 
nothing approaching to it," I answered. For I confess to 
a liking for the old-fashioned private shops. Harper's 
establishment for the manufacture and sale of books is also 
very wonderful. Everything is done on the premises, down 
to the very coloring of the paper which lines the covers, and 
places the gilding on their backs. The firm prints, engraves, 
electroplates, sews, binds, publishes, and sells wholesale and 
retail. I have no doubt that the authors have rooms in the 
attics where the other slight initiatory step is taken toward 
the production of literature. 

New York is built upon an island, which is I believe 
about ten miles long, counting from the southern point at 
the Battery up to Carmansville, to which place the city is 
presumed to extend northward. This island is called Man- 
hattan, a name which I have always thought would have been 
more graceful for the city than that of New York. It is 
formed by the Sound or East River, which divides the conti- 
nent from Long Island by the Hudson River, which runs into 
the Sound, or rather joins it at the city foot, and by a small 



stream called the Harlem River, wliicli runs out of the Hud- 
son and meanders away into the Sound at the north of the 
city, thus cutting the city off from the main-land. The breadth 
of the island does not much exceed two miles, and therefore 
the city is long, and not capable of extension in point of 
breadth. In its old days it clustered itself round about the 
Point, and stretched itself up from there along the quays 
of the two waters. The streets down in this part oi' the 
town are devious enough, twisting themselves about with 
delightful irregularity; but as the city grew there came the 
taste for parallelograms, and the upper streets are rectangu- 
lar and numbered. Broadway, the street of New York 
with which the world is generally best acquainted, begins at 
the southern point of the town and goes northward through 
it. For some two miles and a half it w^alks away in a 
straight line, and then it turns to the left toward the Hudson. 
From that time Broadway never again takes a straight 
course, but crosses the various avenues in an oblique direc- 
tion till it becomes the Bloomingdale Road, and under that 
name takes itself out of town. There are eleven so-called 
avenues, which descend in absolutely straight lines from 
the northern, and at present unsettled, extremity of the 
new town, making their way southward till they lose them- 
selves among the old streets. These are called First Ave- 
nue, Second Avenue, and so on. The town had already 
i:)rogressed two miles up northward from the Battery before 
It had caught the parallelogramic fever from Philadel- 
phia, for at about that distance we find " First Street " 
First Street runs across the avenues from water to water, 
and then Second Street. I will not name them all, seeing 
that they go up to 154th Street ! They do so at least on 
the map, and I believe on the lamp-posts. But the houses 
are not yet built in order beyond 50th or 60th Street. The 
other hundred streets, each of two miles long, with the 
avenues, which are mostly unoccupied for four or five miles, 
is the ground over which the young New Yorkers are to 
spread themselves. I do not in the least doubt that they 
will occupy it all, .and that 154th Street will find itself too 
narro^v a boundary for the population. 

I have said that there was some good architectural effect 
in New York, and I alluded chiefly to that of tlie Fifth 
Avenue. The Fifth Avenue is the Belgrave Square, the 




Park Lane, and the Pall Mall of New York. It is cer- 
tainly a very fine street. The houses in it are magniQcent 
— not having that aristocratic look which some of our de- 
tached London residences enjoy, or the palatial appearance 
of an old-fashioned hotel in Paris, but an air of comforta- 
ble luxury and commercial wealth which is not excelled by 
the best houses of any other town that I know. They are 
houses, not hotels or palaces ; but they are very roomy 
houses, with every luxury that complete finish can give 
them. Many of them cover large spaces of the ground, 
and their rent will sometimes go up as high as £800 and 
£1000 a year. Generally the best of these houses are 
owned by those who live in them, and rent is not, therefore, 
paid. But this is not always the case, and the suras named 
above may be taken as expressing their value. In England 
a man should have a very large income indeed who could 
afford to pay £1000 a year for his house in London. Such 
a one would as a matter of course have an establishment in 
the country, and be an earl, or a duke, or a millionaire. 
But it is different in New York. The resident there shows 
his wealth chiefly by his house ; and though he may proba- 
bly have a villa at Newport or a box somewhere up the 
Hudson, he has no second establishment. Such a house, 
therefore, will not represent a total expenditure of above 
£4000 a year. 

There are churches on each side of Fifth Avenue — per- 
haps five or six witiiin sight at one time — which add much 
to the beauty of the street. They are well built, and in 
fairly good taste. These, added to the general well-being 
and splendid comfort of the place, give it an effect better 
than the architecture of the individual houses would seem 
to warrant. I own that I have enjoyed the vista as I have 
walked up and down Fifth Avenue, and have felt that the 
city had a right to be proud of its wealth. But the great- 
ness and beauty and glory of wealth have on such occasions 
been all in all with me. I know no great man, no celebrated 
statesman, no philanthropist of peculiar note who has lived 
in Fifth Avenue. That gentleman on the right made a mil- 
lion of dollars by inventing a shirt collar; this one an the 
left electrified the world by a lotion ; as to the gentleman 
at the corner there, there are rumors about him and the 
Cuban slave trade ; but my informant by no means knows 



thv^t tliey arc true. Sucli arc the aristocracy of Fifth Ave- 
nue. I can only say that, if I could make a million dollars 
by a lotion, I should certainly be right to live in such a 
house as one of those. 
/ The suburbs of New York are, by the nature of the local- 
ities, divided from the city by water. Jersey City and II o- 
boken are on the other side of the Hudson, and in another 
State. Williamsburg and Brooklyn are on Long Island, 
which is a part of the State of New York. But these places 
are as easily reached as Lambeth is reached from Westmin- 
ster. Steam ferries ply every three or four minutes ; and 
into these boats coaches, carts, and wagons of any size 
or weight are driven. In fact, they make no other stoppage 
to the commerce than that occasioned by the payment of a 
few cents. Such payment, no doubt, is a stoppage ; and 
therefore it is that Jersey City, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg 
are, at any rate in appearance, very dull and uninviting. 
They are, however, very populous. Many of the quieter 
citizens prefer to live there ; and I am told that the Brook- 
lyn tea parties consider themselves to be, in esthetic feeling, 
very much ahead of anything of the kind in the more opu- 
lent centers of the city. In beauty of scenery Staten Island 
is very much the prettiest of the suburbs of New York. 
The view from the hillside in Staten Island down upon 
New York harbor is very lovely. It is the only really 
good view of that magnificent harbor which I have been 
able to find. As for appreciating such beauty when one is 
entering a port from sea or leaving it for sea, I do not be- 
lieve in any such power. The ship creeps up or creeps out 
while the mind is engaged on other matters. The passen- 
ger is uneasy either with hopes or fears, and then the grease 
of the engines otfends one's nostrils. But it is worth the 
tourist's while to look down upon New York harbor from 
the hillside in Staten Island. When I was there Fort La- 
fayette looked black in the center of the channel, and we 
knew that it was crowded with the victims of secession. 
Fort Tompkins was being built to guard the pass — worthy 
of a name of richer sound ; and Fort something else was 
bristling with new cannon. Fort Hamilton, on Long Isl- 
and, opposite, was frowning at us; and immediately around 
us a regiment of volunteers was receiving regimental stocks 
and boots from the hands of its officers. Everything was 
bristling with war; and one could not but think that not in 



this way had New York raised herself so quickly to her 
present greatness. 

But the glory of New York is the Central Park — its glory 
in the minds of all New Yorkers of the present day. The 
first question asked of you is whether you have seen the 
Central Park, and the second is as to what you think of it. 
It does not do to say simply that it is fine, grand, beautiful, 
and miraculous. You must swear by cock and pie that it 
is more fine, more grand, more beautiful, more miraculous 
than anything else of the kind anywhere. Here you en- 
counter in its most annoying form that necessity for eulo- 
gium which presses you everywhere. For in truth, taken 
as it is at present, the Central Park is not fine, nor grand, 
nor beautiful As to the miracle, let that pass. It is per- 
haps as miraculous as some other great latter-day miracles. 

But the Central Park is a very great fact, and affords a 
strong additional proof of the sense and energy of the peo- 
ple. It is very large, being over three miles long and about 
three-quarters of a mile in breadth. When it was found 
that New York was extending itself, and becoming one of 
the largest cities of the world, a space was selected between 
Fifth and Seventh Avenues, immediately outside the limits 
of the city as then built, but nearly in the center of the city 
as it is intended to be built. The ground around it became 
at once of great value ; and I do not doubt that the pres- 
ent fashion of Fifth Avenue about Twentieth Street will in 
course of time move itself up to Fifth Avenue as it looks, 
or will look, over the Park at Seventieth, Eightieth, and 
Ninetieth Streets. The great water- works of the city bring 
the Croton Biver, whence New York is supplied, by an 
aqueduct over the Harlem Biver into an enormous reservoir 
just above the Park ; and hence it has come to pass that 
there will be water not only for sanitary and useful purposes, 
but also for ornament. At present the Park, to English 
eyes, seems to be all road. The trees are not grown up ; 
and the new embankments, and new lakes, and new ditches, 
and new paths give to the place anything but a picturesque 
appearance. The Central Park is good for what it will be 
rather than for what it is. The summer heat is so very 
great that I doubt much whether the people of New York 
will ever enjoy such verdure as our parks show. But there 
will be a pleasant assemblage of walks and water-works, 
with fresh air and fine shrubs and flowers, immediately 



within the reach of the citizens. All that art and encrjry 
can do will be done, and the Central Park doubtless will 
become one of the great glories of New York. When I 
was expected to declare that St. James's Park, Green l*ark, 
Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens altogether were nothing 
to it, I confess that I could only remain mute. 

Those who desire to learn what are the secrets of society 
in New York, I would refer to the Potiphar Papers. The 
Potiphar Papers are perhaps not as well known in England 
as they deserve to be. They were published, I think, as 
much as seven or eight years ago ; but are probably as 
true now as they were then. What I saw of society in New 
York was quiet and pleasant enough ; but doubtless I did 
not climb into that circle in which Mrs. Potiphar held so 
xlistinguished a position. It may be true that gentlemen 
habitually throw fragments of their supper and remnants of 
their wine on to their host's carpets ; but if so I did not 
see it. 

As I progress in my work I feel that duty will call upon 
me to write a separate chapter on hotels in general, and 
I will not, therefore, here say much about those in New 
York. I am inclined to think that few towns in the world, 
if any, afford on the whole better accommodation, but there 
are many in which the accommodation is cheaper. Of the 
railways also I ought to say something. The fact respect- 
ing them, which is most remarkable, is that of their being 
continued into the center of the town through the streets. 
The cars are not dragged through the city by locomotive 
engines, but by horses ; the pace therefore is slow, but the 
convenience to travelers in being brought nearer to the 
center of trade must be much felt. It is as though pas- 
sengers from Liverpool and passengers from Bristol were 
carried on from Euston Square and Paddington along the 
New Road, Portland Place, and Regent Street to Pall 
Mall, or up the City Road to the Bank. As a general rule, 
however, the railways, railway cars, and all about them are 
ill managed. They are monopolies, and the public, through 
the press, has no restraining power upon them as it has in 
England. A parcel sent by express over a distance ot forty 
miies will not be delivered within twenty-four hours. I 
once made my plaint on this subject at the bar or office of 
a hotel, and was told that no remonstrance was of avail. 
*' It is a monopoly," the man told me, " and if we say any- 




thing, we are told that if wc do not like it we need not use 
it." In railway matters and postal matters time and punc- 
tuality are not valued in the States as they are with us, and 
the public seem to acknowledge that they must put up with 
defects — that they must grin and bear them in America, as 
the public no doubt do in Austria, where such affairs are 
managed by a government bureau. 

In the beginning of this chapter I spoke of the population 
of New York, and I cannot end it without remarking that 
out of that population more than one-eighth is composed of 
Germans. It is, I believe, computed that there are about 
120,000 Germans in the city, and that only two other Ger- 
man cities in the world, Vienna and Berlin, have a larger 
German population than New York. The Germans are 
good citizens and thriving men, and are to be found pros- 
pering all over the Northern and Western parts of the 
Union. It seems that they are excellently well adapted to 
colonization, though they have in no instance become the 
dominant people in a colony, or carried with them their 
own language or their own laws. The French have done so 
in Algeria, in some of the West India islands, and quite as 
essentially into Lower Canada, where their language and 
laws still prevail. And yet it is, I think, beyond doubt 
that the French are not good colonists, as are the Germans. 

Of the ultimate destiny of New York as one of the ruling 
commercial cities of the world, it is, I think, impossible to 
doubt. Whether or no it will ever equal London in popula- 
tion I will not pretend to say ; even should it do so, should 
its numbers so increase as to enable it to say that it had 
done so, the question could not very well be settled. When 
it comes to pass that an assemblage of men in one so-called 
city have to be counted by millions, there arises the impos- 
sibility of defining the limits of that city, and of saying who 
belong to it and who do not. An arbitrary line may be 
drawn, but that arbitrary line, though perhaps false when 
drawn as including too much, soon becomes more false as 
including too little. Ealing, Acton, Fulham, Putney, Nor- 
wood, Sydenham, Blackheath, Woolwich, Greenwich, Strat- 
ford, Highgate, and Hampstead are, in truth, component 
parts of London, and very shortly Brighton will be as 
much so. 





As New York is the most populous State of the Union, 
having the largest representation in Congress — on which 
account it has been called the Empire State — I propose to 
state, as shortly as may be, the nature of its separate con- 
stitution as a State. Of course it will be understood that 
the constitutions of the different States are by no means the 
same. They have been arranged according to the judgment 
of the different people concerned, and have been altered 
from time to time to suit such altered judgment. But as 
the States together form one nation, and on such matters as 
foreign affairs, war, customs, and post-office regulations, are 
bound together as much as are the English counties, it is, 
of course, necessary that the constitution of each should in 
most matters assimilate itself to those of the others. These 
constitutions are very much alike. A Governor, with two 
houses of legislature, generally called the Senate and the 
House of Representatives, exists in each State. In the 
State of New York the Lower House is called the Assembly. 
In most States the Governor is elected annually; but in 
some States for two years, as in New York. In Pennsyl- 
vania he is elected for three years. The House of Repre- 
sentatives or the Assembly is, I think, always elected for one 
session only ; but as in many of the States the legislature 
only sits once in two years, the election recurs of course at 
the same interval. The franchise in all the States is nearly 
universal, but in no State is it perfectly so. The Governor, 
Lieutenant-Governor, and other officers are elected by vote 
of the people, as well as the members of the legislature. Of 
course it will be understood that each State makes laws for 
itself — that they are in nowise dependent on the Congress 
assembled at Washington for their laws — unless for laws 
which refer to matters betw^een the United States as a na- 
tion and other nations, or between one State and another. 
Each State declares with what punishment crimes shall be 



visited ; what taxes shall be levied for the use of the State ; 
what laws shall be passed as to education ; what shall be 
the State judiciary. With reference to the judiciary, how- 
ever, it must be understood tliat the United States as a na- 
tion have separate national law courts, before which come 
all cases litigated between State and State, and all cases 
which do not belong in every respect to any one individual 
State. In a subsequent chapter I will endeavor to explain 
this more fully. In endeavoring to understand the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, it is essentially necessary that we 
should remember that we have always to deal with two dif- 
ferent political arrangements — that which refers to the na- 
tion as a whole, and that which belongs to each State as a 
separate governing power in itself. What is law in one 
State is not law in another, nevertheless there is a very great 
likeness throughout these various constitutions, and any po- 
litical student who shall have thoroughly mastered one, will 
not have much to learn in mastering the others. 

This State, now called New York, was first settled by the 
Dutch in 1614, on Manhattan Island. They established a 
government in 1629, under the name of the New Nether- 
lands. In 1664 Charles II. granted the province to his 
brother, James II., then Duke of York, and possession was 
taken of the country on his behalf by one Colonel Ni(;hols. 
In 1673 it was recaptured by the Dutch, but they could 
not hold it, and the Duke of York again took possession 
by patent. A legislative body was first assembled during 
the reign of Charles II., in 1683; from which it will be 
seen that parliamentary representation was introduced into 
the American colonies at a very early date. The Declara- 
tion of Independence was made by the revolted colonies in 
ltt6, and in 1777 the first constitution was adopted by the 
State of New York. In 1822 this was changed for another; 
and the one of which I now purport to state some of the de- 
tails was brought into action in 1847. In this constitution 
there is a provision that it shall be overhauled and remod- 
eled, if needs be, once in twenty years. Article XIII. 
Sec. 2. "At the general election to be held in 1866, and in 
each twentieth year thereafter, the question, ' Shall there 
be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the 
same?' shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote 
for members of the legislature." So that the Nevf Yorkers 



cannot be twitted with the presumption of finality in refer- 
ence to their legislative arrangements. 

The present constitution begins with declaring the in- 
violability of trial by jury, and of habeas corpus — "unless 
when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety 
may require its suspension." It does not say by whom it 
may be suspended, or who is to judge of the public safety, 
but, at any rate, it may be presumed that such suspension 
was supposed to come from the powers of the State which 
enacted the law. At the present moment, the habeas cor- 
pus is suspended in New York, and this suspension has 
proceeded not from the powers of the State, but from the 
Federal government, without the sanction even of the 
Federal Congress, 

"Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his 
sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse 
of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or 
abridge the liberty of speech or of the press." Art. I. 
Sec. 8. But at the present moment liberty of speech and 
of the press is utterly abrogated in the State of New York, 
as it is in other States. I mention this not as a reproach 
against either the State or the Federal government, but to 
show how vain all laws are for the protection of such rights. 
If they be not protected by the feelings of the people — if 
the people are at any time, or from any cause, willing to 
abandon such privileges, no written laws will preserve them. 

In Article I. Sec. 14, there is a proviso that no land — ■ 
land, that is, used for agricultural purposes — shall be let on 
lease for a longer period than twelve years. " No lease or 
grant of agricultural land for a longer period than twelve 
years hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent 
or service of any kind, shall be valid." I do not under- 
stand the intended virtue of this proviso, but it shows very 
clearly how different are the practices with reference to land 
in England and America. Farmers in the States almost 
always are the owners of the land which they farm, and 
such tenures as those by which the occupiers of land gen- 
erally hold their farms with us are almost unknown. There 
is no such relation as that of landlord and tenant as re- 
gards agricultural holdings. 

Every male citizen of New York may vote who is twenty- 
one, who has been a citizen for ten days, who has lived in 
the State for a year, and for four months in the county in 



which he votes. He can vote for all "officers that now are, 
or hereafter may be, elective by the people." Art. II. Sec. 
1. "But," the section goes on to say, "no man of color, 
nnless he shall have been for three years a citizen of the 
State, and for one year next preceding any election shall 
have been possessed of a freehold estate of the value of 
250 dollars, (50/.,) and shall have been actually rated, and 
paid a tax thereon, shall be entitled to vote at such elec- 
tion." This is the only embargo with which universal suf- 
frage is laden in the State of New York. 

The third article provides for the election of the Senate 
and the Assembly. The Senate consists of thirty-two 
members. And it may here be remarked that large as is 
the State of New York, and great as is its population, its 
Senate is less numerous than that of many other States. 
In Massachusetts, for instance, there are forty Senators, 
though the population of Massachusetts is barely one-third 
that of New York. In Virginia, there are fifty Senators, 
whereas the free population is not one-third of that of New 
York. As a consequence, the Senate of New York is said 
to be filled with men of a higher class than are generally 
found in the Senates of other States. Then follows in the 
article a list of the districts which are to return the Sena- 
tors. These districts consist of one, two, three, or in one 
case four counties, according to the population. 

The article does not give the number of members of the 
Lower House, nor does it even state what amount of popula- 
tion shall be held as entitled to a member. It merely pro- 
vides for the division of the State into districts which shall 
contain an equal number, not of population, but of voters. 
The House of Assembly does consist of 128 members. 

It is then stipulated that every member of both houses 
shall receive three dollars a day, or twelve shillings, for 
their services during the sitting of the legislature ; but this 
sum is never to exceed 300 dollars, or sixty pounds, in one 
year, unless an extra session be called. There is also an 
allowance for the traveling expenses of members. It is, I 
presume, generally known that the members of the Congress 
at Washington are all paid, and that the same is the caso 
with reference to the legislatures of all the States. 

No member of the New York legislature can also be a 
member of the Washington Congress, or hold any civil or 
military office under the General States government. 



A majority of each House must be present, or, as the 
article says, "shall constitute a quorum to do business." 
Each House is to keep a journal of its proceedings. The 
doors are to be open — except when the public welfare shall 
require secrecy. A singular proviso this in a country boast- 
ing so much of freedom ! For no speech or debate in either 
House, shall the legislator be called in question in any 
other place. The legislature assembles on the first Tuesday 
in January, and sits for about three months. Its seat is at 

The executive power, Article lY., is to be vested in a 
Governor and a Lieutenant-Governor, both of whom shall 
be chosen for two years. The Governor must be a citizen 
of the United States, must be thirty years of age, and have 
lived for the last four years in the State. He is to be com- 
mander- in-chief of the military and naval forces of the State, 
as is the President of those of the Union. I see that this is 
also the case in inland States, which one would say can have 
no navies. And with reference to some States it is enacted 
that the Governor is commander-in-chief of the army, navy, 
and militia, showing that some army over and beyond the 
militia may be kept by the State. In Tennessee, which is 
an inland State, it is enacted that the Governor shall be 
"commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, 
and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the 
service of the United States." In Ohio the same is the 
case, except that there is no mention of militia. In New 
York there is no proviso with reference to the service of 
the United States. I mention this as it bears with some 
strength on the question of the right of secession, and indi- 
cates the jealousy of the individual States with reference to 
the. Federal government. The Governor can convene extra 
sessions of one House or of both. He makes a message to the 
legislature when it meets — a sort of Queen's speech ; and 
he receives for his services a compensation to be established 
by law. In New York this amounts to 800/. a year. In 
some States this is as low as 200/. and 300/. In Virginia 
it is 1000/. In California, 1200/. 

The Governor can pardon, except in cases of treason. 
He has also a veto upon all bills sent up by the legislature. 
If he exercise this veto he returns the bill to the legislature 
with his reasons for so doing. If the bill on reconsideration 
by the Houses be again passed by a majority of two-thirds 



in each House, it becomes law in spite of the Governor's 
veto. The veto of the President at Washington is of the 
same nature. Such are the powers of the Governor. But 
though they are very full, the Governor of each State does 
not practically exercise any great political power, nor is he, 
even politically, a great man. You might live in a State 
during the whole term of his government and hardly hear 
of him. There is vested in him by the language of the con- 
stitution a much wider power than that intrusted to the 
governor of our colonies. But in our colonies everybody 
talks, and thinks, and knows about the governor. As far 
as the limits of the colony the governor is a great man. 
But this is not the case with reference to the governors in 
the different States. 

The next article provides that the Governor's ministers, 
viz., the Secretary of State, the Controller, Treasurer, and 
Attorney-General, shall be chosen every two years at a gen- 
eral election. In this respect the State constitution differs 
from that of the national constitution. The President at 
"Washington names his own ministers — subject to the appro- 
bation of the Senate. He makes many other appointments 
with the same limitation, and the Senate, I believe, is not 
slow to interfere ; but with reference to the ministers it is 
understood that the names sent in by the President shall 
stand. Of the Secretary of State, Controller, etc., belong- 
ing to the different States, and who are elected by the 
people, in a general way, one never hears. No doubt they 
attend their offices and take their pay, but they are not 
political personages. 

The next article, No. YL, refers to the judiciary, and is 
very complicated. As I cannot understand it, I will not 
attempt to explain it. Moreover, it is not within the scope 
of my ambition to convey here all the details of the State 
constitution. In Sec. 20 of this article it is provided that 
''no judicial officer, except justices of the peace, shall re- 
ceive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office." How 
pleasantly this enactment must sound in the ears of the 
justices of the peace ! 

Article YII. refers to fiscal matters, and is more especially 
interesting as showing how greatly the State of New York 
has depended on its canals for its wealth. These canals are 
the property of the State ; and by this article it seems to be 
provided that they shall not only maintain themselves, but 



maintain to a considerable extent the State expenditure 
also, and stand in lieu of taxation. It is provided, Section 
G, that the " legislature shall not sell, lease, or otherwise 
dispose of any of the canals of the State ; but that they 
shall remain the property of the State, and under its man- 
agement forever." But in spite of its canals the State does 
not seem to be doing very well, for I see that, in 1860, its 
income was 4,780,000 dollars, and its expenditure 5,100,000, 
whereas its debt was 32,500,000 dollars. Of all the States, 
Pennsylvania is the most indebted, Yirginia the second, and 
New York the third. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Ver- 
mont, Delaware, and Texas owe no State debts. All the 
other State ships have taken in ballast. 

The militia is supposed to consist of all men capable of 
bearing arms, under forty-five years of age. But no one 
need be enrolled, who from scruples of conscience is averse 
to bearing arms. At the present moment such scruples do 
not seem to be very general. Then follows, in Article XI., 
a detailed enactment as to the choosing of militia officers. 
It may be perhaps sufficient to say that the privates are to 
choose the captains and the subalterns; the captains and 
subalterns are to choose the field officers ; and the field 
officers the brigadier-generals and inspectors of brigade. 
The Governor, however, with the consent of the Senate, shall 
nominate all major-generals. Now that real soldiers have 
unfortunately become necessary, the above plan has not been 
found to work well. 

Such is the constitution of the State of New York, which 
has been intended to work and does work quite separately 
from that of the United States. It will be seen that the 
purport has been to make it as widely democratic as possi- 
ble — to provide that all power of all description shall come 
directly from the people, and that such power shall return 
to the people at short intervals. The Senate and the Gov- 
ernor each remain for two years, but not for the same two 
years. If a new Senate commence its work in 1861, a new 
Governor will come in in 1862. But, nevertheless, there is in 
the form of government as thus established an absence of 
that close and immediate responsibility which attends our 
ministers. When a man has been voted in, it seems that 
responsibility is over for the period of the required service. 
He has been chosen, and the country which has chosen him 




is to trust that he will do his best. I do not know that this 
matters much with reference to the legislature or govern- 
ments of the different States, for their State legislatures and 
governments are but puny powers ; but in the legislature 
and government at Washington it does matter very much. 
But I shall have another opportunity of speaking on that 

Nothing has struck me so much in America as the fact 
that these State legislatures are puny powers. The absence 
of any tidings whatever of their doings across the water is 
a proof of this. Who has heard of the legislature of New 
York or of Massachusetts ? It is boasted here that their 
insignificance is a sign of the well-being of the people ; 
that the smallness of the power necessary for carrying on 
the machine shows how beautifully the machine is organized, 
and how well it works. " It is better to have little gov- 
ernors than great governors," an American said to me once. 
" It is our glory that we know how to live without having 
great men over us to rule us." That glory, if ever it were 
a glory, has come to an end. It seems to me that all these 
troubles have come upon the States because they have not 
placed high men in high places. The less of laws and the less 
of control the better, providing a people can go right with 
few laws and little control. One may say that no laws and 
no control would be best of all — provided that none were 
needed. But this is not exactly the position of the American 

The two professions of law-making and of governing 
have become unfashionable, low in estimation, and of no 
repute in the States. The municipal powers of the cities 
have not fallen into the hands of the leading men. The 
word politician has come to bear the meaning of political 
adventurer and almost of political blackleg. If A calls B 
a politician, A intends to vilify B by so calling him. Whether 
or DO the best citizens of a State will ever be induced to 
serve in the State legislature by a nobler consideration than 
that of pay, or by a higher tone of political morals than 
that now existing, I cannot say. It seems to me that some 
great decrease in the numbers of the State legislators should 
be a first step toward such a consummation. There are not 
many men in each State who can afford to give up two or 
three months of the year to the State service for nothing ; 



but it may be presumed that in each State there are a few. 
Those who arc induced to devote their time by the payment 
of 60?. can hardly be the men most fitted for the purpose 
of legislation. It certainly has seemed to me that the mem- 
bers of the State legislatures and of the State governments 
are not held in that respect and treated with that confidence 
to which, in the eyes of an Englishman, such functionaries 
should be held as entitled. 



From New York we returned to Boston by Hartford, the 
capital or one of the capitals of Connecticut. This proud 
little State is composed of two old provinces, of which Hart- 
ford and New Haven were the two metropolitan towns. 
Indeed, there was a third colony, called Saybrook, which 
was joined to Hartford. As neither of the two could, of 
course, give way, when Hartford and New Haven were 
made into one, the houses of legislature and the seat of 
government are changed about year by year. Connecticut 
is a very proud little State, and has a pleasant legend of 
its own stanchness in the old colonial days. In 1662 the 
colonies were united, and a charter was given to them by 
Charles II. But some years later, in 1686, when the bad 
days of James II. had come, this charter was considered 
to be too liberal, and order was given that it should be sus- 
pended. One Sir Edmund Andross had been appointed 
governor of all New England, and sent word from Boston 
to Connecticut that the charter itself should be given up to 
him. This the men of Connecticut refused to do. Where- 
upon Sir Edmund with a military following presented him- 
self at their Assembly, declared their governing powers to 
be dissolved, and, after much palaver, caused the charter 
itself to be laid upon the table before him. The discussion 
had been long, having lasted through the day into the night, 



and the room had been lighted with candles. On a sudden 
each light disappeared, and Sir Edmund with his followers 
were in the darl^. As a matter of course, when the h'ght 
was restored the charter was gone ; and Sir Edmund, the 
governor-general, was baffled, as all governors-general and 
all Sir Edmunds alwaj^s are in such cases. The charter was 
gone, a gallant Captain Wads worth having carried it off 
and hidden it in an oak-tree. The charter was renewed 
when William III. came to the throne, and now hangs tri- 
umphantly in the State House at Hartford. The charter 
oak has, alas ! succumbed to the weather, but was standing 
a few years since. The men of Hartford are very proud of 
their charter, and regard it as the parent of their existing 
liberties quite as much as though no national revolution of 
their own had intervened. 

And, indeed, the Northern States of the Union — espe- 
cially those of New England — refer all their liberties to the 
old charters which they held from the mother country. 
They rebelled, as they themselves would seem to say, and 
set themselves up as a separate people, not because the 
mother country had refused to them by law sufficient liberty 
and sufficient self-control, but because the mother country 
infringed the liberties and powers of self-control which she 
herself had given. The mother country, so these States 
declare, had acted the part of Sir Edmund Andross — had 
endeavored to take away their charters. So they also put 
out the lights, and took themselves to an oak-tree of their 
own — which is still standing, though winds from the infer- 
nal regions are now battering its branches. Long may it 
stand ! 

Whether the mother country did or did not infringe the 
charters she had given, I will not here inquire. As to the 
nature of those alleged infringements, are they not written 
down to the number of twenty-seven in the Declaration of 
Independence? They mostly begin with He. "He" has 
done this, and "He" has done that. The "He" is poor 
George III,, whose twenty-seven mortal sins against his 
Transatlantic colonies are thus recapitulated. It would 
avail nothing to argue now whether those deeds were sins 
or virtues, nor would it have availed then. The child had 
grown up and was strong, and chose to go alone into the 
world. The young bird was fledged, and flew away. Poor 
George III. with his cackling was certainly not efficacious 



in restraining such a flight. But it is gratifying to see how 
this new people, when they had it in their power to change 
all their laws, to throw themselves upon any Utopian theory 
that the folly of a wild philanthropy could devise, to discard 
as abominable every vestige of English rule and English 
power, — it is gratifying to see that, when they could have 
done all this, they did not do so, but preferred to cling to 
things English. Their old colonial limits were still to be 
the borders of their States. Their old charters were still 
to be regarded as the sources from whence their State 
powers had come. The old laws were to remain in force. 
The precedents of the English courts were to be held as 
legal precedents in the courts of the new nation, and are 
now so held. It was still to be England, but England with- 
out a king making his last struggle for political power. 
This was the idea of the people and this was their feeling ; 
and that idea has been carried out and that feeling has 

In the constitution of the State of New York nothing is 
said about the religion of the people. It was regarded as 
a subject with which the constitution had no concern what- 
ever. But as soon as we come among the stricter people 
of New England, we find that the constitution-makers have 
not been able absolutely to ignore the subject. In Con- 
necticut it is enjoined that, as it is the duty of all men to 
worship the Supreme Being, and their right to render that 
worship in the mode most consistent with their consciences, 
no person shall be by law compelled to join or be classed 
with any religious association. The line of argument is 
hardly logical, the conclusion not being in accordance with 
or hanging on the first of the two premises. But neverthe- 
less the meaning is clear. In a free country no man shall 
be made to worship after any special fashion ; but it is de- 
creed by the constitution that every man is bound by duty 
to worship after some fashion. The article then goes on to 
say how they who do worship are to be taxed for the sup- 
port of their peculiar church. I am not quite clear whether 
the New Yorkers have not managed this difficulty with greater 
success. When we come to the Old Bay State — to Massa- 
chusetts — we find the Christian religion spoken of in the 
constitution as that which in some one of its forms should 
receive the adherence of every good citizen. 

Hartford is a pleasant little town, with English-looking 



houses, and au English-looking country around it. Here, 

as everywhere through the States, one is struck by the size 
and comfort of the residences. I sojouriied there at the 
house of a friend, and could find no limit to the number of 
spacious sitting-rooms which it contained. The modest 
dining-room and drawing-room which suffice with us for 
men of seven or eight hundred a year would be regarded as 
very mean accommodation by persons of similar incomes in 
the States. 

I found that Hartford was all alive with trade, and that 
wages were high, because there are there two factories for 
the manufacture of arms. Colt's pistols come from Hart- 
ford, as also do Sharpe's rifles. Wherever arms can be 
prepared, or gunpowder; where clothes or blankets fit for 
soldiers can be made, or tents or standards, or things ap- 
pertaining in any way to warfare, there trade was still brisk. 
No being is more costly in his requirements than a soldier, 
and no soldier so costly as the American. He must eat 
and drink of the best, and have good boots and warm bed- 
ding, and good shelter. There were during the Christmas 
of 1861 above half a million of soldiers so to be provided — 
the President, in his message made in December to Con- 
gress, declared the number to be above six hundred thou- 
sand — and therefore in such places as Hartford trade was 
very brisk. I went over the rifle factory, and was shown 
everything, but I do not know that I brought away much 
with me that was worth any reader's attention. The best 
of rifles, I have no doubt, were being made with the greatest 
rapidity, and all were sent to the army as soon as finished. 
I saw some murderous-looking weapons, with swords at- 
tached to them instead of bayonets, but have siuce been 
told by soldiers that the old-fashioned bayonet is thought to 
be more serviceable. 

Immediately on my arrival in Boston I heard that Mr. 
Emerson was going to lecture at the Tremont Hall on the 
subject of the war, and I resolved to go and hear him. I 
was acquainted with Mr. Emerson, and by reputation knew 
him well. Among us in England he is regarded as trans- 
cendental, and perhaps even as mystic in his philosophy. 
His " Kepresentative Men" is the work by wliich he is best 
known on our side of the Avater, and I have heard some 
readers declare that they could not quite understand Mr. 
Emerson's "Representative Men." For myself, I confess 



that I had broken down over some portions of that book. 
Since I had become acquainted with him I had read others 
of his writings, especially his book on England, and had 
found that he improved greatly on acquaintance. I think 
that he has confined his mysticism to the book above named. 
In conversation he is very clear, and by no means above 
the small practical things of the world. He would, I fancy, 
know as well what interest he ought to receive for his 
money as though he were no philosopher, and I am inclined 
to think that if he held land he would make his hay while 
the sun shone, as might any common farmer. Before I had 
met Mr. Emerson, when my idea of him was formed simply 
on the ''Representative Men," I should have thought that 
a lecture from him on the war would have taken his hearers 
all among the clouds. As it was, I still had my doubts, 
and was inclined to fear that a subject which could only be 
handled usefully at such a time before a large audience by 
a combination of common sense, high principles, and elo- 
quence, would hardly be safe in Mr. Emerson's hands. I 
did not doubt the high principles, but feared much that 
there would be a lack of common sense. So many have 
talked on that subject, and have shown so great a lack of 
common sense ! As to the eloquence, that might be there 
or might not. 

Mr. Emerson is a Massachusetts man, very well known 
in Boston, and a great crowd was collected to hear him. I 
suppose there were some three thousand persons in the 
room. I confess that when he took his place before us my 
prejudices were against him. The matter in hand required 
no philosophy. It required common sense, and the very 
best of common sense. It demanded that he should be im- 
passioned, for of what interest can any address be on a 
matter of public politics without passion ? But it demanded 
that the passion should be winnowed, and free from all 
rodomontade. I fancied what might be said on such a 
subject as to that overlauded star-spangled banner, and 
how the star-spangled flag would look when wrapped in a 
mist of mystic Platonism. 

But from the beginning to the end there was nothing 
mystic — no Platonism ; and, if I remember rightly, the star- 
spangled banner was altogether omitted. To the national 
eagle he did allude. "Your American eagle," he said, "is 
very well. Protect it here and abroad. But beware of 



the American peacock." He gave an account of the war 
from the beginning, showing how it had arisen, and how it 
had been conducted; and he did so with admirable sim- 
plicity and truth. He thought the North were right about 
the war; and as I thought so also, I was not called upon 
to disagree with him. He was terse and perspicuous in his 
sentences, practical in his advice, and, above all things, 
true in what he said to his audience of themselves. They 
who know America will understand how hard it is for a 
public man in the States to practice such truth in his ad- 
dresses. Fluid compliments and high-flown national eulo- 
gium are expected. In this instance none were forthcoming. 
The North had risen with patriotism to make this effort, 
and it was now warned that in doing so it was simply doing 
its national duty. And then came the subject of slavery. 
I had been told that Mr. Emerson was an abolitionist, and 
knew that I must disagree with him on that head, if on no 
other. To me it has always seemed that to mix up the 
question of general abolition with this war must be the 
work of a man too ignorant to understand the real subject 
of the war, or too false to his country to regard it. 
Throughout the whole lecture I was waiting for Mr. Emer- 
son's abolition doctrine, but no abolition doctrine came. 
The words abolition and compensation were mentioned, 
and then there was an end of the subject. If Mr. Emerson 
be an abolitionist, he expressed his views very mildly on 
that occasion. On the whole, the lecture was excellent, 
and that little advice about the peacock was in itself worth 
an hour's attention. 

That practice of lecturing is "quite an institution" in the 
States. So it is in England, my readers will say. But in 
England it is done in a different way, with a different ob- 
ject, and with much less of result. With us, if I am not 
mistaken, lectures are mostly given gratuitously by the lec- 
turer. They are got up here and there with some philan- 
thropical olDject, and in the hope that an hour at the 
disposal of young men and women may be rescued from 
idleness. The subjects chosen are social, literary, philan- 
thropic, romantic, geographical, scientilic, religious — any- 
thing rather than political. The lecture-rooms are not 
usually filled to overflowing, and there is often a question 
whether the real good achieved is worth the trouble taken. 
The most popular lectures are given by big people, whose 




presence is likely to be attractive; and the whole thing, I 
fear we must confess, is not pre-eminently successful. In 
the Northern States of America the matter stands on a 
very different footing. Lectures there are more popular 
than cither theaters or concerts. Enormous halls are built 
for them. Tickets for long courses are taken with avidity. 
Very large sums are paid to popular lecturers, so that the 
profession is lucrative — more so, I am given to understand, 
than is the cognate profession of literature. The whole 
thing is done in great style. Music is introduced. The 
lecturer stands on a large raised platform, on which sit 
around him the bald and hoary-headed and superlatively 
wise. Ladies come in large numbers, especially those 
who aspire to soar above the frivolities of the world. Poli- 
tics is the subject most popular, and most general. The 
men and women of Boston could no more do without their 
lectures than those of Paris could without their theaters. 
It is the decorous diversion of the best ordered of her citi- 
zens. The fast young men go to clubs, and the fast young 
women to dances, as fast young men and women do in 
other places that are wicked ; but lecturing is the favorite 
diversion of the steady-minded Bostonian. After all, I do 
not know that the result is very good. It does not seem 
that much will be gained by such lectures on either side of 
the Atlantic — except that respectable killing of an evening 
which might otherwise be killed less respectably. It is but 
an industrious idleness, an attempt at a royal road to infor- 
mation, that habit of attending lectures. Let any man or 
woman say what he has brought away from any such at- 
tendance. It is attractive, that idea of being studious with- 
out any of the labor of study; but I fear it is illusive. If 
an evening can be so passed without ennui, I believe that 
that may be regarded as the best result to be gained. But 
then it so often happens that the evening is not passed 
without ennui! Of course in saying this, I am not olluding 
to lectures given in special places as a course of special 
study. Medical lectures are, or may be, a necessary part 
of medical education. As many as two or three thousand 
often attend these popular lectures in Boston, but I do not 
know whether on that account the popular subjects are 
much better understood. Nevertheless I resolved to hear 
more, hoping that I might in that way teach myself to 
understand what were the popular politics in New England. 


Whether or no I may have learned this in any other way, I 
do not perhaps know; but at any rate I did not learn it in 
this way. 

The next lecture which I attended was also given in the 
Tremont Hall, and on this occasion also the subject of the 
war was to be treated. The special treachery of the rebels 
was, I think, the matter to be taken in hand. On this 
occasion also the room was full, and my hopes of a pleas- 
ant hour ran high. For some fifteen minutes I listened, 
and I am bound to say that the gentleman discoursed in 
excellent English. He was master of that wonderful 
fluency which is peculiarly the gift of an American. He 
went on from one sentence to another with rhythmic tones 
and unerring pronunciation. He never faltered, never re- 
peated his words, never fell into those vile half-muttered 
hems and haws by which an Englishman in such a position 
so generally betrays his timidity. But during the whole 
time of my remaining in the room he did not give expres- 
sion to a single thought. He went on from one soft plati- 
tude to another, and uttered words from which I would 
defy any one of his audience to carry away with them any- 
thing. And yet it seemed to me that his audience was 
satisfied. I was not satisfied, and managed to escape out 
of the room. 

The next lecturer to whom T listened was Mr. Everett. 
Mr. Everett's reputation as an orator is very great, and I 
was especially anxious to hear him. I had long since 
known that his power of delivery was very marvelous; 
that his tones, elocution, and action were all great; and 
that he was able to command the minds and sympathies of 
his audience in a remarkable manner. His subject also 
was the war — or rather the causes of the war and its quali- 
fication. Had the North given to the South cause of pro- 
vocation ? Had the South been fair and honest in its deal- 
ings to the North ? Had any compromise been possible by 
which the war might have been avoided, and the rights and 
dignity of the North preserved ? Seeing that Mr. Everett 
is a Northern man and was lecturing to a Boston audience, 
one knew well how these questions would be answered, but 
the manner of the answering would be everything. This 
lecture was given at Roxbury, one of the suburbs of Bos- 
ton. So I went out to Roxbury with a party, and found 
myself honored by being placed on the platform among the 



bald-headed ones and the superlatively wise. This privilege 
is naturally gratifying, but it entails on him who is so grati- 
fied the inconvenience of sitting at the lecturer's back, 
whereas it is, perhaps, better for the listener to be before 
his face. 

I -could not but be amused by one little scenic incident. 
When we all went upon the platform, some one proposed 
that the clergymen should lead the way out of the little 
waiting-room in which we bald-headed ones and super- 
latively wise were assembled. But to this the manager of 
the affair demurred. He wanted the clergymen for a pur- 
pose, he said. And so the profane ones led the way, and 
the clergymen, of whom there might be some six or seven, 
clustered in around the lecturer at last. Early in his dis- 
course, Mr. Everett told us what it was that the country 
needed at this period of her trial. Patriotism, courage, 
the bravery of the men, the good wishes of the women, the 
self-denial of all — "and," continued the lecturer, turning 
to his immediate neighbors, " the prayers of these holy 
men whom I see around me." It had not been for nothing 
that the clergymen were detained. 

Mr. Everett lectures without any book or paper before 
him, and continues from first to last as though the words 
came from him on the spur of the moment. It is known, 
however, that it is his practice to prepare his orations with 
great care and commit them entirely to memory, as does an 
actor. Indeed, he repeats the same lecture over and over 
again, I am told, without the change of a word or of an 
action. I did not like Mr. Everett's lecture. I did not 
like what he said, or the seeming spirit in which it was 
framed. But I am bound to admit that his power of oratory 
is very wonderful. Those among his countrymen who have 
criticised his manner in my hearing, have said that he is too 
florid, that there is an affectation in the motion of his hands, 
and that the intended pathos of his voice sometimes ap- 
proaches too near the precipice over which the fall is so 
deep and rapid, and at the bottom of which lies absolute 
ridicule. Judging for myself, I did not find it so. My 
position for seeing was not good, but my ear was not of- 
fended. Critics also should bear in mind that an orator 
does not speak chiefly to them or for their approval. He 
who writes, or speaks, or sings for thousands, must write, 
speak, or sing as those thousands would have him. That 



to a dainty connoisseur will be false music, which to the 
general ear shall be accounted as the perfection of harmony. 
An eloquence altogether suited to the fastidious and hyper- 
critical, would probably fail to carry off the hearts and in- 
terest the sympathies of the young and eager. As regards 
manners, lone, and choice of words, I think that the oratory 
of Mr. Everett places him very high. His skill in his work 
is perfect. He never falls back upon a word. He never 
repeats himself. His voice is always perfectly under com- 
mand. As Tor hesitation or timidity, the days for those 
failings have long passed by with him. When he makes a 
point, he makes it well, and drives it home to the intelligence 
of every one before him. Even that appeal to the holy 
men around him sounded well— or would have done so had 
I not been present at that little arrangement in the ante- 
room. On the audience at large it was manifestly effective. 

But nevertheless the lecture gave me but a poor idea of 
Mr. Everett as a politician, though it made me regard him 
highly as an orator. It was impossible not to perceive that 
he was anxious to utter the sentiments of the audience 
rather than his own ; that he was making himself an echo, 
a powerful and harmonious echo of what he conceived to 
be public opinion in Boston at that moment; that he was 
neither leading nor teaching the people before him, but 
allowing himself to be led by them, so that he might best 
play his present part for their delectation. He was neither 
bold nor honest, as Emerson had been, and I could not but 
feel that every tyro of a politician before him would thus 
recognize his want of boldness and of honesty. Asa states- 
man, or as a critic of statecraft, and of other statesmen, he 
is wanting in backbone. For many years Mr. Everett has 
been not even inimical to Southern politics and Southern 
courses, nor was he among those who, during the last eight 
years previous to Mr. Lincoln's election, fought the battle 
for Northern principles. I do not say that on this account 
he is now false to advocate the war. But he cannot carry 
men with him when, at his age, he advocates it by argu- 
ments opposed to the tenor of his long political life. His 
abuse of the South and of Southern ideas was as virulent 
as might be that of a young lad now beginning his political 
career, or of one who had through life advocated abolition 
principles. He heaped reproaches on poor Virginia, whose 
position as the chief of the border States has given to her 



hardly the possibility of avoiding a Scylla of ruin on the 
one side, or a Charybdis of rebellion on the other. Whei? 
he spoke as he did of Virginia, ridiculing the idea of her 
sacred soil, even I, Englishman as I am, could not but think 
of Washington, of Jefferson, of Randolph, and of Madison. 
He should not have spoken of Virginia as he did speak ; 
for no man could have known better Virginia's difficulties. 
But Virginia was at a discount in Boston, and Mr. Ev( rett 
was speaking to a Boston audience. And then he rei erred 
' to England and to Europe. Mr. Everett has been minister 
to England, and knows the people. He is a student of his- 
tory, and must, I think, know that England's career has not 
been unhappy or unprosperous. But England also was at 
a discount in Boston, and Mr. Everett was speaking to a 
Boston audience. They are sending us their advice across 
the water, said Mr. Everett. And what is their advice to 
us ? That we should come down from the high place we have 
built for ourselves, and be even as they are. They screech 
at us from the low depths in which they are wallowirg m 
their misery, and call on us to join them in their wretched- 
ness. I am not quoting Mr. Everett's very words, for I 
have not them by me; but I am not making them stronger, 
nor so strong as he made them. As I thought of Mr. Ever- 
ett's reputation, and of his years of study, of his long po- 
litical life and unsurpassed sources of information, I could 
not but grieve heartily when I heard such words fall from 
him. I could not but ask myself whether it were impossi- 
ble that under the present circumstances of her constitution 
this great nation of America should produce an honest, high- 
minded statesman. When Lincoln and Hamlin, the exist- 
ing President and Vice-President of the States, were in 
1860 as yet but the candidates of the Republican party. Bell 
and Everett also were the candidates of the old Whig, con- 
servative party. Their express theory was this — that the 
question of slavery should not be touched. Their purpose 
■was to crush agitation and restore harmony by an impartial 
balance between the ^vorth and South : a fine purpose — the 
finest of all purposes, had it been practicable. But such a 
course of compromise was now at a discount in Boston, and 
Mr. Everett was speaking to a Boston audience. As an 
orator, Mr. Everett's excellence is, I think, not to be ques- 
tioned ; but as a politician I cannot give him a high rank. 
After that I heard Mr. Wendell Phillips. Of him too, 



as an orator, all the world of Massachusetts speaks with 
great admiration, and I have no doubt so speaks v/ith jus- 
tice. He is, however, known as the hottest and most im- 
passioned advocate of abolition. Not many months since 
the cause of abolition, as advocated by him, was so unpop- 
ular in Boston, that Mr. Phillips was compelled to address 
his audience surrounded by a guard of policemen. Of this 
gentleman I may at any rate say that he is consistent, de- 
voted, and disinterested. He is an abolitionist by profession, 
and seeks to find in every turn of the tide of politics some 
stream on which he may bring himself nearer to his object. 
In the old days, previous to the selection of Mr. Lincoln, 
in days so old that they are now nearly eigliteen months 
past, Mr. Phillips was an anti-Union man. He advocated 
strongly the disseverance of the Union, so that the country 
to which he belonged might have hands clean from the taint 
of slavery. He had probably acknowledged to himself that 
while the North and South were bound together no hope 
existed of emancipation, but that if the North stood alone 
the South would become too weak to foster and keep alive 
the "social institution." In which, if such were his opin- 
ions, I am inclined to agree with him. But now he is all for 
the Union, thinking that a victorious North can compel the 
immediate emancipation of Southern slaves. As to which 
I beg to say that I am bold to differ from Mr. Phillips alto- 

It soon became evident to me that Mr. Phillips was unwell, 
and lecturing at a disadvantage. His manner was clearly 
that of an accustomed orator, bat his voice was weak, and 
he was not up to the effect which he attempted to make. 
His hearers were impatient, repeatedly calling upon him to 
speak out, and on that account I tried hard to feel kindly 
toward him and his lecture. But I must confess that I 
failed. To me it seemed that the doctrine he preached was 
one of rapine, bloodshed, and social destruction. He would 
call upon the government and upon Congress to enfranchise 
the slaves at once — now during the war — so that the 
Southern power might be destroyed by a concurrence of 
misfortunes. And he would do so at once, on the spur of 
the moment, fearing lest the South should be before him, 
and themselves emancipate their own bondsmen. I have 
sometimes thought that there is no being so venomous, so 
blood-thirsty as a professed philanthropist ; and that when 



the philanthropist's ardor lies negroward, it then assumes 
the deepest die of venom and blood-thirstiness. There are 
four millions of slaves in the Southern States, none of whom 
have any capacit}" for self-maintenance or self-control. Four 
millions of slaves, with the necessities of children, with the 
passions of men, and the ignorance of savages ! And Mr. 
Phillips would emancipate these at a blow ; would, were it 
possible for him to do so, set them loose upon the soil to 
tear their masters, destroy each other, and make such a hell 
upon the earth as has never even yet come from the uncon- 
trolled passions and unsatisfied wants of men. But Con- 
gress cannot do this. All the members of Congress put 
together cannot, according to the Constitution of the Uni- 
ted States, emancipate a single slave in South Carolina ; 
not if tliey were all unanimous. Xo emancipation in a 
slave State can come otherwise than by the legislative en- 
actment of that State. But it was then thought that in 
this coming winter of 1860-61 the action of Congress 
might be set aside. The North possessed an enormous 
army under the control of the President. The South was 
in rebellion, and the President could pronounce, and the 
army perhaps enforce, the confiscation of all property held 
in slaves. If any who held them were not disloyal, the 
question of compensation might be settled afterward. How 
those four million slaves should live, and how^ white men 
should live among them, in some States or parts of States 
not equal to the blacks in number — as to that Mr. Phillips 
did not give us his opinion. 

And Mr. Phillips also could not keep his tongue away 
from the abominations of Englishmen and the miraculous 
powers of his own countrymen. It was on this occasion 
that he told us more than once how Yankees carried brains 
in their fingers, whereas ''common people" — alluding by 
that name to Europeans — had them only, if at all, inside 
their brain-pans. And then he informed us that Lord Pal- 
merston had always hated America. Among the Radicals 
there might be one or two who understood and valued the 
institutions of America, but it w^as a well-knovvn fact that 
Lord Palmerston was hostile to the country. Nothing but 
hidden enmity — enmity hidden or not hidden — could be 
expected from England. That the people of Boston, or of 
Massachusetts, or of the North generally, should feel sore 
against England, is to me intelligible. I know how the 



minds of men are moved in masses to certain feelings, and 
that it ever must be so. Men in common talk are not 
bound to weigh their words, to think, and speculate on 
their results, and be sure of the premises on which their 
thoughts are founded. But it is different with a man who 
rises before two or three thousand of his countrymen to 
teach and instruct them. After that I heard no more 
political lectures in Boston. 

Of course I visited Bunker Hill, and went to Lexington 
and Concord. From the top of the monument on Bunker 
Hill there is a fine view of Boston harbor, and seen from 
thence the harbor is picturesque. The mouth is crowded 
with islands and jutting necks and promontories ; and 
though the shores are in no place rich enough to make the 
scenery grand, the general effect is good. The monument, 
however, is so constructed that one can hardly get a view- 
through the windows at the top of it, and there is no out- 
side gallery round it. Immediately below the monument 
is a marble figure of Major Warren, who fell there, — not 
from the top of the monument, as some one was led to 
believe when informed that on that spot the major had 
fallen. Bunker Hill, which is little more than a mound, 
is at Charlestown — a dull, populous, respectable, and very 
unattractive suburb of Boston. 

Bunker Hill has obtained a considerable name, and is 
accounted great in the annals of American history. In 
England we have all heard of Bunker Hill, and some of us 
dislike the sound as much as Frenchmen do that of Water- 
loo. In the States men talk of Bunker Hill as we may, 
perhaps, talk of Agincourt and such favorite fields. But, 
after all, little was done at Bunker Hill, and, as far as I 
can learn, no victory was gained there by either party. 
The road from Boston to the town of Concord, on which 
stands the village of Lexington, is the true scene of the 
earliest and greatest deeds of the men of Boston. The 
monument at Bunker Hill stands high and commands at- 
tention, while those at Lexington and Concord are very 
lowly and command no attention. But it is of that road 
and what was done on it that Massachusetts should be 
proud. When the colonists first began to feel that they 
were oppressed, and a half resolve was made to resist that 
oppression by force, they began to collect a few arms and some 
gunpowder at Concord, a small town about eighteen miles 



from Boston. Of this preparation the English governor 
received tidings, and determined to send a party of soldiers 
to seize the arms. This he endeavored to do secretly ; but 
he was too closely watched, and word was sent down over 
the waters by which Boston was then surrounded that the 
colonists might be prepared for the soldiers. At that time 
Boston Neck, as it was, and is still called, was the only 
connection between the town and the main-land, and the 
road over Boston Neck did not lead to Concord. Boats 
therefore were necessarily used, and there was some diffi- 
culty in getting the soldiers to the nearest point. They 
made their way, however, to the road, and continued their 
route as far as Lexington without interruption. Here, 
however, they were attacked, and the first blood of that 
war was shed. They shot three or four of the — rebels, I 
suppose I should in strict language call them, and then 
proceeded on to Concord. But at Concord they were 
stopped and repulsed, and along the road back from 
Concord to Lexington they were driven with slaughter and 
dismay. And thus the rebellion was commenced which led 
to the establishment of a people which, let us Englishmen 
say and think what we may of them at this present moment, 
has made itself one of the five great nations of the earth, 
and has enabled us to boast that the two out of the five 
who enjoy the greatest liberty and the widest prosperity 
speak the English language and are known by English 
names. For all that has come and is like to come, I say 
again, long may that honor remain. I could not but feel 
that that road from Boston to Concord deserves a name in 
the world's history greater, perhaps, than has yet been 
given to it. 

Concord is at present to be noted as the residence of Mr. 
Emerson and of Mr. Hawthorne, two of those mnny men 
of letters of Tvdiose presence Boston and its neighborhood 
have reason to be proud. Of Mr. Emerson I have already 
spoken. The author of the "Scarlet Letter" I regard as 
certainly the first of American novelists. I know what 
men will say of Mr. Cooper, — and I also am an admirer of 
Cooper's novels. But I cannot think that Mr. Cooper's 
powers were equal to those of Mr. Hawthorne, though his 
mode of thought may have been more genial, and his choice 
of subjects more attractive in their day. In point of im- 
agination, v/hich, after all, is the novelist's greatest gift, I 




hardly know any living author who can be accounted supe- 
rior to Mr. Hawthorne. 

Very much has, undoubtedly, been done in Boston to 
carry out that theory of Colonel Newcome s — Emollil 
mores, by which the Colonel meant to signify his opinion 
that a competent knowledge of reading, writing, and arith- 
metic, with a taste for enjoying those accomplishments, 
goes very far toward the making of a man, and will by no 
means mar a gentleman. In Boston nearly every man, 
woman, and child has had his or her manners so far soft- 
ened ; and though they may still occasionally be somewhat 
rough to the outer touch, the inward effect is plainly visible. 
With us, especially among our agricultural population, the 
absence of that inner softening is as visible. 

I went to see a public library in the city, which, if not 
founded by Mr. Bates, whose name is so well known in 
London as connected with the house of Messrs. Baring, 
has been greatly enriched by him. It is by his money that 
it has been enabled to do its work. In this library there is 
a certain number of thousands of volumes — a great many 
volumes, as there are in most public libraries. There are 
books of all classes, from ponderous unreadable folios, of 
which learned men know the title-pages, down to the light- 
est literature. Novels are by no means eschewed, — are 
rather, if I understood aright, considered as one of the 
staples of the library. From this library any book, except- 
ing such rare volumes as in all libraries are considered 
holy, is given out to any inhabitant of Boston, without any 
payment, on presentation of a simple request on a prepared 
form. In point of fact, it is a gratuitous circulating library 
open to all Boston, rich or poor, young or old. The books 
seemed in general to be confided to young children, who 
came as messengers from their fathers and mothers, or 
brothers and sisters. No question whatever is asked, if the 
applicant is known or the place of his residence undoubted. 
If there be no such knowledge, or there be any doubt as to 
the residence, the applicant is questioned, the object being 
to confine the use of the library to the bona fide inhabit- 
ants of the city. Practically the books are given to those 
who ask for them, whoever they may be. Boston contain- 
over 200,000 inhabitants, and all those 200,000 are entitled 
to them. Some twenty men and women are kept employed 
from morning till night in carrying on this circulating 



library; and there is, moreover, attached to the establish- 
ment a large reading-room supplied with papers and maga- 
zines, open to the public of Boston on the same terms. 

Of course I asked whether a great many of the books 
were not lost, stolen, and destroyed ; and of course I was 
told that there were no losses, no thefts, and no destruction. 
As to thefts, the librarian did not seem to think that any in- 
stance of such an occurrence could be found. Among the 
poorer classes, a book might sometimes be lost when they 
were changing their lodgings ; but anything so lost was 
more than replaced by the fines. A book is taken out for 
a week, and if not brought back at the end of that week — . 
when the loan can be renewed if the reader wishes — a fine, 
I think of two cents, is incurred. The children, when too 
late with the books, bring in the two cents as a matter of 
course, and the sum so collected fully replaces all losses. It 
was all couleur de rose; the librarianesses looked very 
pretty and learned, and, if I remember aright, mostly wore 
spectacles ; the head librarian was enthusiastic ; the nice, 
instructive books were properly dogs-eared ; my own pro- 
ductions were in enormous demand ; the call for books 
over the counter was brisk ; and the reading-room was full 
of readers. 

It has, I dare say, occurred to other travelers to remark 
that the proceedings at such institutions, when visited by 
them on their travels, are always rose colored. It is natu- 
ral that the bright side should be shown to the visitor. It 
may be that many books are called for and returned unread ; 
that many of those taken out are so taken by persons who 
ought to pay for their novels at circulating libraries ; that 
the librarian and librarianesses get very tired of their long 
hours of attendance, for I found that they were very long ; 
and that many idlers warm themselves in that reading-room. 
Nevertheless the fact remains— the library is public^to all the 
men and women in Boston, and books are given out without 
payment to all who may choose to ask for them. Why 
should not the great Mr. Mudie emulate Mr. Bates, and 
open a library in London on the same system ? 

The librarian took me into one special room, of which 
he himself kept the key, to show me a present which the 
library had received from the English government. The 
room was filled with volumes of two sizes, all bound alike, 
containing descriptions and drawings of all the patents 



taken out in England. According to this librarian, such a 
work would be invaluable as to American patents ; but he 
conceived that the subject had become too confused to ren- 
der any such an undertaking possible. " I never allow a 
single volume to be used for a moment without the presence 
of myself or one of my assistants," said the librarian ; and 
then he explained to me, when I asked him why he was so 
particular, that the drawings would, as a matter of course, 
be cut out and stolen if he omitted his care. " But they 
may be copied," I said, "Yes ; but if Jones merely copies 
one. Smith may come after him and copy it also. Jones 
will probably desire to hinder Smith from having any evi- 
dence of such a patent." As to the ordinary borrowing and 
returning of books, the poorest laborer's child in Boston 
might be trusted as honest ; but when a question of trade 
came up — of commercial competition — then the librarian 
was bound to bethink himself that his countrymen are very 
smart. "I hope," said the librarian, "you will let them 
know in England how grateful we are for their present." 
And I hereby execute that librarian's commission. 

I shall always look back to social life in Boston with 
great pleasure. I met there many men and women whom 
to know is a distinction, and with whom to be intimate is a 
great delight. It was a Puritan city, in which strict old 
Roundhead sentiments and laws used to prevail ; but now- 
a-days ginger is hot in the mouth there, and, in spite of the 
war, there were cakes and ale. There was a law passed in 
Massachusetts in the old days that any girl sliould be fined 
and imprisoned who allowed a young man to kiss her. That 
law has now, I think, fallen into abeyance, and such mat- 
ters are regulated in Boston much as they are in other large 
towns farther eastward. It still, I conceive, calls itself a 
Puritan city ; but it has divested its Puritanism of auster- 
ity, and clings rather to the politics and public bearing of 
its old fathers than to their social manners and pristine se- 
verity of intercourse. The young girls are, no doubt, much 
more comfortable under the new dispensation — and the 
elderly men also, as I fancy. Sunday, as regards the outer 
streets, is sabbatical. But Sunday evenings within doors I 
always found to be what my friends in that country call 
"quite a good time." It is not the thing in Boston to 
smoke in the streets during the day; but the vrisest, the 
sagest, and the most holy — even those holy men whom the 



lecturer saw around him — seldom refuse a cigar in the 
dining-room as soon as tlie ladies have gone. Perhaps 
even the wicked weed would make its appearance before 
that sad eclipse, thereby postponing or perhaps absolutely 
annihilating the melancholy period of widowhood to both 
parties, and would light itself under the very eyes of those 
who in sterner cities will lend no countenance to such light- 
ings. Ah me, it was very pleasant ! I confess I like this 
abandonment of the stricter rules of the more decorous 
world. I fear that there is within me an aptitude to the 
milder debaucheries which makes such deviations pleasant. 
I like to drink and I like to smoke, but I do not like to 
turn women out of the room. Then comes the question 
whether one can have all that one likes together. In some 
small circles in New England I found people simple enough 
to fancy that they could. In Massachusetts the Maine 
liquor law is still the law of the land, but, like that other 
law to which I have alluded, it has fallen very much out of 
use. At any rate, it had not reached the houses of the 
gentlemen with whom I had the pleasure of making ac- 
quaintance. But here I must guard myself from being 
misunderstood. I saw but one drunken man through all 
New England, and he was very respectable. He was, how- 
ever, so uncommonly drunk that he might be allowed to 
count for two or three. The Puritans of Boston are, of 
course, simple in their habits and simple in their expenses. 
Champagne and canvas-back ducks I found to be the pro- 
visions most in vogue among those who desired to adhere 
closely to the manner of their forefathers. Upon the whole, 
I found the ways of life which had been brought over in 
the " Mayflower" from the stern sects of England, and pre- 
served through the revolutionary war for liberty, to be very 
pleasant ways ; and I made up my mind that a Yankee Pu- 
ritan can be an uncommonly pleasant fellow. I wish that 
some of them did not dine so early ; for when a man sits 
down at half-past two, that keeping up of the after-dinner 
recreations till bedtime becomes hard work. 

In Boston the houses are very spacious and excellent, and 
they are always furnished with those luxuries which it is so dif- 
ficult to introduce into an old house. They have hot and cold 
water pipes into every room, and baths attached to 'the bed- 
chambers. It is not only that comfort is increased by such 
arrangements, but that much labor is saved. In an old English 



house it will occupy a servant the best part of the day to 
carry water up and down for a large family. Everything 
also is spacious, commodious, and well lighted. I certainly 
think that in house-building the Americans have gone be- 
yond us, for even our new houses are not commodious as 
are theirs. One practice which they have in their cities 
would hardly suit our limited London spaces. When the 
body of the house is built, they throw out the dining-room 
behind. It stands alone, as it were, with no other chamber 
above it, and removed from the rest of the house. It is 
consequently behind the double drawing-rooms which form 
the ground floor, and is approached from them and also 
from the back of the hall. The second entrance to the 
dining-room is thus near the top of the kitchen stairs, which 
no doubt is its proper position. The whole of the upper 
part of the house is thus kept for the private uses of the 
family. To me this plan of building recommended itself as 
being very commodious. 

I found the spirit for the war quite as hot at Boston now 
(in November) if not hotter than it was when I was there 
ten weeks earlier; and I found also, to my grief, that the 
feeling against England was as strong. I can easily under- 
stand how difficult it must have been, and still must be, to 
Englishmen at home to understand this, and see how it has 
come to pass. It has not arisen, as I think, from the old 
jealousy of England. It has not sprung from that source 
which for years has induced certain newspapers, especially 
the New York Herald, to vilify England. I do not think 
that the men of New England have ever been, as regards 
this matter, in the same boat with the New York EeraJd. 
But when this war between the North and South first broke 
out, even before there was as yet a war, the Northern men 
had taught themselves to expect what they called British 
sympathy, meaning British encouragement. They regarded, 
and properly regarded, the action of the South as a rebel- 
lion, and said among themselves that so staid and conser- 
vative a nation as Great Britain would surely countenance 
them in quelling rebels. If not, should it come to pass 
that Great Britain should show no such countenance and 
sympathy for Northern law, if Great Britain did not re- 
spond to her friend as she was expected to respond, then 
it would appear that cotton was king, at least in British 
eyes. The war did come, and Great Britain regarded the 



two parties as belligerents, standing, as far as she was con- 
cerned, on equal grounds. This it was that first gave rise 
to that fretful anger against England which has gone so far 
toward ruining the Northern cause. We know how such 
passions are swelled by being ventilated, and how they are 
communicated from miud to mind till they become national. 
Politicians — American politicians I here mean — have their 
own future careers ever before their eyes, and are driven to 
make capital where they can. Hence it is that such men as 
Mr. Seward in the cabinet, and Mr. Everett out of it, can 
reconcile it to themselves to speak as they have done of 
England. It was but the other day that Mr. Everett spoke, 
in one of his orations, of the hope that still existed that the 
flag of the United States might still float over the whole 
continent of North America. What would he say of an 
English statesman who should speak of putting up the 
Union Jack on the State House in Boston ? Such words 
tell for the moment on the hearers, and help to gain some 
slight popularity ; but they tell for more than a moment 
on those who read them and remember them. 

And then came the capture of Messrs. Slidell and Mason. 
I was at Boston when those men were taken out of the 
"Trent" by the "San Jacinto," and brought to Fort War- 
ren in Boston Harbor. Captain Wilkes was the officer 
who had made the capture, and he immediately was recog- 
nized as a hero. He was invited to banquets and feted. 
Speeches were made to him as speeches are commonly made 
to high officers who come home, after many perils, victorious 
from the wars. His health was drunk with great applause, 
and thanks were voted to him by one of the Houses of 
Congress. It was said that a sword was to be given to 
him, but I do not think that the gift was consummated. 
Should it not have been a policeman's truncheon ? Had 
he at the best done anything beyond a policeman's work ? 
Of Captain Wilkes no one would complain for doing police- 
man's duty. If his country were satisfied with the manner 
in which he did it, England, if she quarreled at all, would 
not quarrel with him. It may now and again become the 
duty of a brave officer to do work of so low a caliber. It 
is a pity that an ambitious sailor should find himself told 
off for so mean a task, but the world would know that it is 
not his fault. No one could blame Captain Wilkes for act- 
ing policeman on the seas. But who ever before heard of 



giving a mau glory for achievements so little glorious? 
How Captain AVilkes must have blushed when those 
speeches were made to him, when that talk about the sword 
came up, when the thanks arrived to him from Congress I 
An officer receives his country's thanks when he has been 
in great peril, and has borne himself gallantly through his 
danger; when he has endured the brunt of war, and come 
through it with victory; when he has exposed himself on 
behalf of his country and singed his epaulets with an 
enemy's fire. Captain Wilkes tapped a merchantman on 
the shoulder in the high seas, and told him that his passen- 
gers were wanted. In doing this he showed no lack of 
spirit, for it might be his duty ; but where was his spirit 
when he submitted to be thanked for such work ? 

And then there arose a clamor of justification among the 
lawyers; judges and ex-judges flew to Wheaton, Thilli- 
more, and Lord Stowell. Before twenty-four hours were 
over, ever}^ man and every woman in Boston were armed 
with precedents. Then there was the burning of the 
"Caroline." England had improperly burned the "Caro- 
line" on Lake Erie, or rather in one of the American 
ports on Lake Erie, and had then begged pardon. If the 
States had been wrong, they would beg pardon; but 
whether wrong or right, they would not give up Slidell 
and Mason. But the lawyers soon waxed stronger. The 
men were manifestly ambassadors, and as such contraband 
of war. Wilkes was quite right, only he should have 
seized the vessel also. He was quite right, for though 
Slidell and Mason might not be ambassadors, they were 
undoubtedly carrying dispatches. In a few hours there 
began to be a doubt whether the men could be ambas- 
sadors, because if called ambassadors, then the power that 
sent the embassy must be presumed to be recognized. That 
Captain Wilkes had taken no dispatches, was true ; but the 
captain suggested a way out of this difficulty by declaring 
that he had regarded the two men themselves as an incar- 
nated embodiment of dispatches. At any rate, they were 
clearly contraband of war. They were going to do an in- 
jury to the North. It was pretty to hear the charming 
women of Boston, as they became learned in the law of 
nations : ''Wheaton is quite clear about it," one young girl 
said to me. It was the first I had ever heard of Wheaton, 
and so far was obliged to knock under. All the world, 


ladies and laVyers, expressed the utmost confidence in the 
justice of the seizure ; but it was clear that all the world 
was in a state of the profoundest nervous anxiety on the 
subject. To me it seemed to be the most suicidal act that 
any party in a life-and-death struggle ever committed. All 
Americans on both sides had feit, from tlie beginning of 
the war, that any assistance given by England to one or 
the other would turn the scale. The government of Mr. 
Lincoln must have learned by this time that England was 
at least true in her neutrality; that no desire for cotton 
would compel her to give aid to the South as long as she 
herself was not ill treated by the North. But it seemed 
as though Mr. Seward, the President's Prime Minister, had 
no better work on hand than that of showing in every way 
his indifference as to courtesy with England. Insults of- 
fered to England would, he seemed to think, strengthen his 
hands. He would let England know that he did not care 
for her. When our minister, Lord Lyons, appealed to 
him regarding the suspension of the habeas corpus, Mr. 
Seward not only answered him with insolence, but instantly 
published his answer in the papers. He instituted a sys- 
tem of passports, especially constructed so as to incom- 
mode Englishmen proceeding from the States across the 
Atlantic. He resolved to make every Englishman in Amer- 
ica feel himself in some way punished, because England had 
not assisted the Xorth. And now came the arrest of Slidell 
and Mason out of an English mail steamer, and Mr. Seward 
took care to let it be understood that, happen what might, 
those two men should not be given up. 

Nothing during all this time astonished me so much as 
the estimation in which Mr. Seward was then held by his 
own party. It is, perhaps, the worst defect in the consti- 
tution of the States, that no incapacity on the part of a 
minister, no amount of condemnation expressed against him 
by the people or by Congress, can put him out of office 
during the term of the existing Presidency. The President 
can dismiss him ; but it generally happens that the President 
is brought in on a " platform" which has already nominated 
for him his cabinet as thoroughly as they have nominated 
him. Mr. Seward ran Mr. Lincoln very hard for the posi- 
tion of candidate for the Presidency on the Republican in- 
terest. On the second voting of the Republican delegates 
at the Convention at Chicago, Mr. Seward polled 184 to 




Mr. Lincoln's 181. But as a clear half of the total number 
of votes was necessary — that is, 233 out of 4G5 — there was 
necessarily a third polling, and Mr. Lincoln won the day. 
On that occasion Mr. Chase and Mr. Cameron, both of 
whom became members of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, were also 
candidates for the White House on the Republican side. I 
mention this here to show that though the President can in 
fact dismiss his ministers, he is in a great manner bound to 
them, and that a minister in Mr. Seward's position is hardly 
to be dismissed. But from the 1st of November, 1861, till 
the day on which 1 left the States, I do not think that I 
heard a good word spoken of Mr. Seward as a minister, 
even by one of his own party. The Radical or Abolitionist 
Republicans all abused him. The Conservative or Anti- 
abolition Republicans, to whose party he would consider 
himself as belonging, spoke of him as a mistake. He had 
been prominent as Senator from New York, and had been 
Governor of the State of New York, but had none of the 
aptitudes of a statesman. He was there, and it was a pity. 
He was not so bad as Mr. Cameron, the Minister for War; 
that was the best his own party could say for him, even in 
his own State of New York. As to the Democrats, their 
language respecting him was as harsh as any that I have 
heard used toward the Southern leaders. He seemed to 
have no friends, no one who trusted him ; and yet he was 
the President's chief minister, and seemed to have in his 
own hands the power of mismanaging all foreign relations 
as he pleased. But, in truth, the States of America, great 
as they are, and much as they have done, have not produced 
statesmen. That theory of governing by the little men 
rather than by the great has not been found to answer, 
and such follies as those of Mr. Seward have been the 

At Boston, and indeed elsewhere, I found that there was 
even then — at the time of the capture of these two men — no 
true conception of the neutrality of England with reference 
to the two parties. When any argument was made, show- 
ing that England, who had carried these messengers from 
the South, would undoubtedly have also carried messengers 
from the North, the answer always was — "But the South- 
erners are all rebels. Will England regard us who are by 
treaty her friend, as she does a people that is in rebellion 
against its own government ?" That was the old story over 



again, and as it was a very long story, it was hardly of use 
to go back through all its details. But the fact was that 
unless there had been such absolute neutrality — such equality 
between the parties in the eyes of England — even Captain 
Wilkes would not have thought of stopping the " Trent," or 
the government at Washington of justifying such a proceed- 
ing. And it must be remembered that the government at 
Washington had justified that proceeding. The Secretary 
of the Navy had distinctly done so in his official report ; 
and that report had been submitted to the President and 
published by his order. It was because England was neu- 
tral between the North and South that Captain Wilkes 
claimed to have the right of seizing those two men. It had 
been the President's intention, some month or so before this 
affair, to send Mr. Everett and other gentlemen over to 
England with objects as regards the North similar to those 
which had caused the sending of Slidell and Mason with 
reference to the South. What would Mr. Everett have 
thought had he been refused a passage from Dover to 
Calais, because the carrying of him would have been toward 
the South a breach of neutrality ? It would never have 
occurred to him that he could become subject to such stop- 
page. How should we have been abused for Southern sym- 
pathies had we so acted ! We, forsooth, who carry pas- 
sengers about the world, from China and Australia, round 
to Chili and Peru, who have the charge of the world's pas- 
sengers and letters, and as a nation incur out of our pocket 
annually a loss of some half million of pounds sterling for 
the privilege of doing so, are to inquire the business of every 
American traveler before we let him on board, and be 
stopped in our work if we take anybody on one side whose 
journeyings may be conceived by the other side to be to 
them prejudicial ! Not on such terms will Englishmen be 
willing to spread civilization across the ocean ! I do not 
pretend to understand Wheaton and Phillimore, or even to 
have read a single word of any international law. I have 
refused to read any such, knowing that it would only con- 
fuse and mislead me. But I have my common sense to 
guide me. Two men living in one street, quarrel and shy 
brickbats at each other, and make the whole street very un- 
comfortable. Not only is no one to interfere with them, 
but they are to have the privilege of deciding that their 
brickbats have the right of way, rather than the ordinary 



intercourse of the neighborhood ! If that be national law, 
national law must be changed. It might do for some centu- 
ries back, but it cannot do now. Up to this period my 
sympathies had been with the North. I thought, and still 
think, that the North had no alternative, that the war had been 
forced upon them, and that they had gone about their work 
with patriotic energy. But this stopping of an English 
mail steamer was too much for me. 

What will they do in England ? was now the question. 
But for any knowledge as to that I had to wait till I reached 



The two places of most general interest in the vicinity 
of Boston are Cambridge and Lowell. Cambridge is to 
Massachusetts, and, I may almost say, is to all the Northern 
States, what Cambridge and Oxford are to England. It is 
the seat of the university which gives the highest education 
to be attained by the highest classes in that country. Lowell 
also is in little to Massachusetts and to New England what 
Manchester is to us in so great a degree. It is the largest 
and most prosperous cotton-manufacturing town in the 

Cambridge is not above three or four miles from Boston. 
Indeed, the town of Cambridge properly so called begins 
where Boston ceases. The Harvard College — that is its 
name, taken from one of its original founders — is reached 
by horse-cars in twenty minutes from the city. An English- 
man feels inclined to regard the place as a suburb of Boston ; 
but if he so expresses himself, he will not find favor in the 
eyes of the men of Cambridge. 

The university is not so large as I had expected to find 
it. It consists of Harvard College, as the undergraduates' 
department, and of professional schools of law, medicine, 


divinity, and science. In the few words that I will say 
about it I will confine myself to Harvard College proper, 
conceiving that the professional schools connected with it 
have not in themselves any special interest. The average 
number of undergraduates does not exceed 450, and these 
are divided into four classes. The average number of de- 
grees taken annually by bachelors of art is something under 
100. Four years' residence is required for a degree, and at 
the end of that period a degree is given as a matter of 
course if the candidate's conduct has been satisfactory. 
When a young man has pursued his studies for that period, 
going through the required examinations and lectures, he 
is not subjected to any final examination as is the case with 
a candidate for a degree at Oxford and Cambridge. It is, 
perhaps, in this respect that the greatest difference exists 
between the English universities and Harvard College. 
With us a young man may, I take it, still go through his 
three or four years with a small amount of study. But his 
doing so does not insure him his degree. If he have 
utterly wasted his time he is plucked, and late but heavy 
punishment comes upon him. At Cambridge, in Massa- 
chusetts, the daily work of the men is made more obliga- 
tory; but if this be gone through with such diligence as to 
enable the student to hold his own during the four years, 
he has his degree as a matter of course. There are no de- 
grees conferring special honor. A man cannot go out "in 
honors" as he does with us. There are no "firsts" or 
"double firsts;" no "wranglers;" no "senior opts" or 
"junior opts." Nor are there prizes of fellowships and 
livings to be obtained. It is, I think, evident from this 
that the greatest incentives to high excellence are wanting 
at Harvard College. There is neither the rev/ard of honor 
nor of money. There is none of that great competition 
which exists at our Cambridge for the high place of Senior 
Wrangler; and, consequently, the degree of excellence at- 
tained is no doubt lower than with us. But I conceive that 
the general level of the university education is higher there 
than with us; that a young man is more sure of getting his 
education, and that a smaller percentage of men leaves 
Harvard College utterly uneducated than goes in that con- 
dition out of Oxford or Cambridge. The education at 
Harvard College is more diversified in its nature, and study 



is more absolutely the business of the place than it is at ou. 

The expense of education at Harvard College is not 
much lower than at our colleges; with us there are, no 
doubt, more men who are absolutely extravagant than at 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. The actual authorized expend- 
iture in accordance with the rules is only 501. per annum, 
i.e. 249 dollars; but this does not, by any means, include 
everything. Some of the richer young men may spend as 
much as 300Z. per annum, but the largest number vary their 
expenditure from lOOZ. to 180Z. per annum; and I take it 
the same thing may be said of our universities. There are 
many young men at Harvard College of very small means. 
They will live on tOZ. per annum, and will earn a great 
portion of that by teaching in the vacations. There are 
thirty-six scholarships attached to the university, varying in 
value from 201. to 60Z. per annum; and there is also a 
beneficiary fund for supplying poor scholars with assistance 
during their collegiate education. Many are thus brought 
up at Cambridge who have no means of their own ; and I 
think I may say that the consideration in which they are 
held among their brother students is in no degree affected 
by their position. I doubt whether we can say so much of 
the Sizars and Bible clerks at our universities. 

At Harvard College there is, of course, none of that old- 
fashioned, time-honored, delicious, medieval life which lends 
so much grace and beauty to our colleges. There are no 
gates, no porter's lodges, no butteries, no halls, no battels, 
and no common rooms. There are no proctors, no bull- 
dogs, no bursers, no deans, no morning and evening chapel, 
no quads, no surplices, no caps and gowns. I have already 
said that there are no examinations for degrees and no 
honors ; and I can easily conceive that in the absence of all 
these essentials many an Englishman will ask what right 
Harvard College has to call itself a university. 

I have said that there are no honors, and in our sense 
there are none. But I should give offense to my American 
friends if I did not explain that there are prizes given — I 
think all in money, and that they vary from fifty to ten dol- 
lars. These are called deiurs. The degrees are given on 
Commencement Day, at which occasion certain of the ex- 
pectant graduates are selected to take parts in a public lit- 
erary exhibition. To be so selected seems to be tantamount 



to taking a degree in honors. There is also a dinner on 
Commencement Day, at which, however, " no wine or other 
intoxicating drink shall be served." 

It is required that every student shall attend some place 
of Christian worship on Sundays; but he, or his parents 
for him, may elect what denomination of church he shall 
attend. There is a university chapel on the university ^ 
grounds which belongs, if I remember aright, to the Epis- 
copalian church. The young men, for the most part, live 
in college, having rooms in the college buildings ; but they 
do not board in those rooms. There are establishments in 
the town, under the patronage of the university, at which 
dinner, breakfast, and supper are provided ; and the young 
men frequent one of these houses or another as they, or their 
friends for them, may arrange. Every young man not be- 
longing to a family resident within a hundred miles of Cam- 
bridge, and whose parents are desirous to obtain the protec- 
tion thus provided, is placed, as regards his pecuniary 
management, under the care of a patron ; and this patron 
acts by him as a father does in England by a boy at school. 
He pays out his money for him and keeps him out of debt. 
The arrangement will not recommend itself to young men 
at Oxford quite so powerfully as it may do to the fathers 
of some young men who have been there. The rules with 
regard to the lodging and boarding houses are very strin- 
gent. Any festive entertainment is to be reported to the 
president. No wine or spirituous liquors may be used, etc. 
It is not a picturesque system, this ; but it has its advant- 

There is a handsome library attached to the college which 
the young men can use, but it is not as extensive as I had 
expected. The university is not well off for funds by which 
to increase it. The new museum in the college is also a 
handsome building. The edifices used for the undergradu- 
ates' chambers and for the lecture-rooms are by no means 
handsome. They are very ugly, red brick houses, standing 
here and there without order. There are seven such ; and 
they are called Brattle House, College House, Divinity 
Hall, Hollis Hall, Holsworthy Hall, Massachusetts Hall, 
and Stoughton Hall. It is almost astonishing that build- 
ings so ugly should have been erected for such a purpose. 
These, together with the library, the museum, and the 
chapel, stand on a large green, which might be made pretty 



enough if it were kept, well mown, like the gardens of our 
Cambridge colleges ; but it is much neglected. Here, again, 
the want of funds — the augusia res domi — must be pleaded 
as an excuse. On the same green, but at some little dis- 
tance from any other building, stands the president's pleasant 

The immediate direction of the college is of course mainly 
in the hands of the president, who is supreme. But for the 
general management of the institution there is a corpora- 
tion, of which he is one. It is stated in the laws of the 
university that the Corporation of the University and its 
Overseers constitute the Government of the University. 
The Corporation consists of the President, five Fellows so 
called, and a Treasurer. These Fellows are chosen, as 
vacancies occur, by themselves, subject to the concurrence 
of the Overseers. But these Fellows are in nowise like to 
the Fellows of oar colleges, having no salaries attached to 
their offices. The Board of Overseers consists of the State 
Governor, other State officers, the President and Treasurer 
of Harvard College, and thirty other persons, men of note, 
chosen by vote. The Faculty of the College, in which is 
vested the immediate care and government of the under- 
graduates, is composed of the President and the Professors. 
The Professors answer to the tutors of our colleges, and 
upon them the education of the place depends I cannot 
complete this short notice of Harvard College without say- 
ing that it is happy in the possession of that distinguished 
natural philosopher Professor Agassiz. M. Agassiz has 
collected at Cambridge a museum of such things as natural 
philosophers delight to show, which I am told is all but in- 
valuable. As my ignorance on all such matters is of a 
depth which the professor can hardly imagine, and which it 
would have shocked him to behold, I did not visit the mu- 
seum. Taking the University of Harvard College as a whole, 
I should say that it is most remarkable in this — that it does 
really give to its pupils that education which it professes to 
give. Of our own universities other good things may be 
said, but that one special good thing cannot always be said. 

Cambridge boasts itself as the residence of four or five 
men well known to fame on the American and also on the 
European side of the ocean. President Felton's* name is 

* Since these words were written President Felton has died — I, 



very familiar to us ; and wherever Greek scholarship is held 
in repute, that is known. So also is the name of Professor 
Agassiz, of whom I luive spoken. Russell Lowell is one 
of the professors of the college — that llussell Lowell who 
sang of Birdofredum Sawin, and whose Biglow Papers were 
edited with such an ardor of love by our Tom Brown. 
Birdofredum is worthy of all the ardor. Mr. Dana is also 
a Cambridge man — he who was ''two years before the mast," 
and who since that has written to us of Cuba. But Mr. 
Dana, though residing at Cambridge, is not of Cambridge ; 
and, though a literary man, he does not belong to litera- 
ture. He is — could he help it? — a "special attorney." I 
must not, however, degrade him ; for in the States barris- 
ters and attorneys are all one. I cannot but think that he 
could help it, and that he should not give up to law what 
was meant for mankind. I fear, however, that successful 
Law has caught him in her intolerant clutches, and that 
Literature, who surely would be the nobler mistress, must 
wear the willow. Last and greatest is the poet-laureate of 
the West, for Mr. Longfellow also lives at Cambridge. 

I am not at all aware whether the nature of the manu- 
facturing corporation of Lowell is generally understood by 
Enghshmen. I confess that until I made personal acquaint- 
ance with the plan, I was absolutely ignorant on the subject. 
I knew that Lowell was a manufacturing town at which cot- 
ton is made into calico, and at which calico is printed — as 
is the case at Manchester ; but I conceived this was done 
at Lowell, as it is done at Manchester, by individual enter- 
prise — that I or any one else could open a mill at Lowell, 
and that the manufacturers there were ordinary traders, as 
they are at other manufacturing towns. But this is by no 
means the case. 

That which most surprises an English visitor on going 
through the mills at Lowell is the personal appearance of 
the men and women who work at them. As there are twice 
as many women as there are men, it is to them that the at- 
tention is chiefly called. They are not only better dressed, 
cleaner, and better mounted in every respect than the girls 
employed at manufactories in England, but they are so 

as I returned ou my way homeward, had the melancholy privilege of 
being present at his funeral. I feel bound to record here the great 
kindness with which Mr. Felton assisted me in obtaining such infor- 
mation as I needed respecting the institution over which he presided. 



infinitely superior as to make a stranger immediately per- 
ceive that some very strong!: cause must have created the 
difference. We all know the class of young women whom 
we generally see serving behind counters in the shops of 
our larger cities. They are neat, well dressed, careful, 
especially about their hair, composed in their manner, and 
sometimes a little supercilious in the propriety of their 
demeanor. It is exactly the same class of young women 
that one sees in the factories at Lowell. They are not sal- 
low, nor dirty, nor ragged, nor rough. They have about 
them no signs of want, or of low culture. Many of us also 
know the appearance of those girls who work in the facto- 
ries in England ; and I think it will be allowed that a second 
glance at them is not wanting to show that they are in every 
respect inferior to the young women who attend our shops. 
The matter, indeed, requires no argument. Any young 
woman at a shop would be insulted by being asked whether 
she had worked at a factory. The difference with regard 
to the men at Lowell is quite as strong, though not so strik- 
ing. Working men do not show their status in the world 
by their outward appearance as readily as women ; and, as 
I have said before, the number of the women greatly ex- 
ceeded that of the men. 

One would of course be disposed to say that the superior 
condition of the workers must have been occasioned by 
superior wages ; and this, to a certain extent, has been the 
cause. But the higher payment is not the chief cause. 
Women's wages, including all that they receive at the Lowell 
factories, average about 14s. a week, which is, I take it, fully 
a third more than women can earn in Manchester, or did 
earn before the loss of the American cotton began to tell 
upon them. But if wages at Manchester were raised to 
the Lowell standard, the Manchester women would not be 
clothed, fed, cared for, and educated like the Lowell women. 
The fact is, that the workmen and the workwomen at Lowell 
are not exposed to the chances of an open labor market. 
They are taken in, as it were, to a philanthropical manu- 
facturing college, and then looked after and regulated more 
as girls and lads at a great seminary, than as hands by 
whose industry profit is to be made out of capital. This 
is all very nice and pretty at Ijowell, but I am afraid it 
could not be done at Manchester. 

There are at present twelve different manufactories at 



Lowell, each of which has what is called a separate corpo- 
ration. The Merrimack Manufacturing: Company was incor- 
porated in 1822, and thus Lowell was commenced. The 
Lowell Machine-shop was incorporated in 1845, and since 
that no new establisliment has been added. In 1821, a cer- 
tain Boston manufacturing company, which had mills at 
Waltham, near Boston, was attracted by the water-power 
of the River Merrimack, on which the present town of Lowell 
is situated. A canal called the Pawtucket Canal had been 
made for purposes of navigation from one reach of the river 
to another, with the object of avoiding the Pawtucket Falls; 
and this canal, with the adjacent water-power of the river, 
was purchased for the Boston company. The place was 
then called Lowell, after one of the partners in that com- 

It must be understood that water-power alone is used for 
preparing the cotton and working the spindles and looms of 
the cotton mills. Steam is applied in the two establish- 
ments in which the cottons are printed, for the purposes of 
printing, but I think nowhere else. When the mills are at 
full work, about two and a half million yards of cotton 
goods are made every week, and nearly a million pounds of 
cotton are consumed per week, (i e. 842,000 lbs.,) but the 
consumption of coal is only 30,000 tons in the year. This 
will give some idea of the value of the water-power. The 
Pawtucket Canal was, as I say, bought, and Lowell was 
commenced. The town was incorporated in 1826, and the 
railway between it and Boston was opened in 1835, under 
the superintendence of Mr. Jackson, the gentleman by 
whom the purchase of the canal had in the first instance 
been made. Lowell now contains about 40,000 inhabitants. 

The following extract is taken from the hand-book to 
Lowell: "Mr. F. C. Lowell had, in his travels abroad, ob- 
served the effect of large manufacturing establishments on 
the character of the people, and in the establishment at 
Waltham the founders looked for a remedy for these defects. 
They thought that education and good morals would even 
enhance the profit, and that they could compete with Great 
Britain by introducing a more cultivated class of operatives. 
For this purpose they built boarding-houses, which, under 
the direct supervision of the agent, were kept by discreet 
matrons" — I can answer for the discreet matrons at Lowell 
— "mostly widows, no boarders being allowed except oper- 



atives. Agents and overseers of high moral character were 
selected ; regulations were adopted at the mills and board- 
ing-houses, by which only respectable girls were employed. 
The mills were nicely painted and swept" — I can also an- 
swer for the painting and sweeping at Lowell — " trees set 
out in the yards and along the streets, habits of neatness 
and cleanliness encouraged ; and the result justified the ex- 
penditure. At Lowell the same policy has been adopted 
and extended ; more spacious mills and elegant boarding- 
houses have been erected;" as to the elegance, it may be a 
matter of taste, but as to the comfort, there is no question 
— "the same care as to the classes employed; more capital 
has been expended for cleanliness and decoration; a hos- 
pital has been established for the sick, where, for a small 
price, they have an experienced physician and skillful nurses. 
An institute, with an extensive library, for the use of the 
mechanics, has been endowed. The agents have stood for- 
ward in the support of schools, churches, lectures, and 
lyceums, and their influence contributed highly to the ele- 
vation of the moral and intellectual character of the opera- 
tives. Talent has been encouraged, brought forward, and 
recommended." For some considerable time the young 
women wrote, edited, and published a newspaper among 
themselves, called the Lowell Offering. "And Lowell has 
supplied agents and mechanics for the later manufactur- 
ing places, who have given tone to society, and extended 
the beneficial influence of Lowell through the United States. 
Girls from the country, with a true Yankee spirit of inde- 
pendence, and confident in their own powers, pass a few years 
here, and then return to get married with a dower secured 
by their exertions, with more enlarged ideas and extended 
means of information, and their places are supplied by 
younger relatives. A large proportion of the female 
population of New England has been employed at some 
time in manufacturing establishments, and they are not on 
this account less good wives, mothers, or educators of 
families." Then the account goes on to tell how the health 
of the girls has been improved by their attendance at the 
mills; how they put money into the savings banks, and buy 
railway shares and farms; how there are thirty churches in 
Lowell, a library, banks, and insurance offices; how there 
is a cemetery, and a park ; and how everything is beautiful, 
philanthropic, profitable, and magnificent. 



Tims Lowell is the realization of a commercial Utopia. 
Of all the statements made in the little book which I have 
quoted, I cannot point out one which is exaggerated, much 
less false. I should not call the place elegant; in other 
respects I am disposed to stand by the book. Before I had 
made any inquiry into the cause of the apparent comfort, it 
struck me at once that some great effort at excellence was 
being made. I went into one of the discreet matrons' res- 
idences ; and, perhaps, may give but an indifferent idea of 
her discretion, wlien I say that she allowed me to go into 
the bed -rooms. If you want to ascertain the inner ways or 
habits of life of any man, woman, or child, see, if it be 
practicable to do so, his or her bed-room. You will learn 
more by a minute's glance round that holy of holies, than 
by any conversation. Looking-glasses and such like, sus- 
pended dresses, and toilet-belongings, if taken without 
notice, cannot lie or even exaggerate. The discreet matron 
at first showed me rooms only prepared for use, for at the 
period of my visit Lowell was by no means full ; but she 
soon became more intimate with me, and I went through 
the upper part of the house. My report must be altogetlier 
in her favor and in that of Lowell. Everything was cleanly, 
well ordered, and feminine. There was not a bed on which 
any woman need have hesitated to lay herself if occasion 
required it. I fear that this cannot be said of the lodgings 
of the manufacturing classes at Manchester. The board- 
ers all take their meals together. As a rule, they have 
meat twice a day. Hot meat for dinner is with them as 
much a matter of course, or probably more so, than with any 
Englishman or woman who may read this book. For in 
the States of America regulations on this matter are much 
more rigid than with us. Cold meat is rarely seen, and to 
live a day without meat would be as great a privation as 
to pass a night without bed. 

The rules for the guidance of these boarding-houses are 
very rigid. The houses themselves belong to the corpora- 
tions, or different manufacturing establishments, and the 
tenants are altogether in the power of the managers. None 
but operatives are to be taken in. The tenants are answer- 
able for improper conduct. The doors are to be closed at 
ten o'clock. Any boarders who do not attend divine wor- 
ship are to be reported to the managers. The yards and 
walks are to be kept clean, and snow removed at once ; an(i 




the inmates must be vaccinated, etc. etc. etc. It is expressly 
stated by the Hamilton Company — and 1 believe by ail the 
companies — that no one shall be employed who is habitually 
absent from public worship on Sunday, or who is known to 
be guilty of immorality, it is stated that the average wages 
of the women are two dollars, or eight shillings, a week, 
besiJjs their board. I found when 1 was there that from 
three dollars to three and a half a week were paid to the 
women, of which they paid one dollar and twenty-five cents 
for their board. As this would not fully cover the expense 
of their keep, twenty-five cents a week for each was also paid 
to the boarding-house keepers by the mill agents. This sub- 
stantially came to the same thing, as it left the two dollars 
a week, or eight shillings, with the girls over and above 
their cost of living. Tne board included washing, lights, 
food, bed, and attendance — leaving a surplus of eight shil- 
lings a week for clothes and saving. Now let me ask any 
one acquainted with Manchester and its operatives, whether 
that is not Utopia realized. Factory girls, for whom every 
comfort of life is secured, with 21/. a year over for saving 
and dress ! One sees the failing, however, at a moment. 
It is Utopia. Any Lady Bountiful can tutor three or four 
peasants and make them luxuriously comfortable. But no 
Lady Bountiful can give luxurious comfort to half a dozen 
parishes. Lowell is now nearly forty years old, and con- 
tains but 40,000 inhabitants. From the very nature of its 
corporations it cannot spread itself. Chicago, which has 
grown out of nothing in a much shorter period, and which 
has no factories, has now 120,000 inhabitants. Lowell is a 
very wonderful place and shows what philanthropy can do ; 
but I fear it also shows what philanthropy cannot do. 

There are, however, other establishments, conducted on 
the same principle as those at Lowell, wiiich have had the 
same amount, or rather the same sort of success. Lawrence 
is now a town of about 15,000 inhabitants, and Manchester 
of about 24,000, if I remember rightly; and at those places 
the mills are also owned by corporations and conducted as 
are those at Lowell. But it seems to me that as New 
England takes her place in the world as a great manu- 
facturing country — which place she undoubtedly will take 
sooner or later — she must abandon the hot-house method of 
providing for her operatives with which she has commenced 
her work. In the first place, Lowell is not open as a manu- 



facturing town to the capitalists even of New England at 
large. Stock may, I presume, be bought in the corpora- 
tions, but no interloper can establish a mill there. It is a 
close manufacturing community, bolstered up on all sides, 
and has none of that capacity lor providing employment lor 
a thiclvly growing population which belongs to such places 
as Manchester aad Leeds. That it should under its present 
system have been made in any degree profitable reflects 
great credit on the managers ; but the profit does reach an 
amount which in America can be considered as remuner- 
ative. The total capital invested by the twelve corpora- 
tions is thirteen million and a half of dollars, or about two 
million seven hundred thousand pounds. In only one of 
the corporations, that of the Merrimack Company, does the 
profit amount to twelve per cent In one, that of the Booth 
Company, it falls below seven per cent. The average profit 
of the various establishments is something below nine per 
cent. I am of course speaking of Lowell as it was previous 
to the war. American capitalists are not, as a rule, con- 
tented with so low a rate of interest as this. 

The States in these matters have had a great advantage 
over England. They have been able to begin at the be- 
ginning. Manufactories have grown up among us as our 
cities grew — from the necessities and chances of the times. 
When labor was wanted it was obtained in the ordinary 
way ; and so when houses were built they were built in the 
ordinary way. We had not the experience, and the results 
either for good or bad, of other nations to guide us. The 
Americans, in seeing and resolving to adopt our commercial 
successes, have resolved also, if possible, to avoid the evils 
which have attended those successes. It would be very de- 
sirable that all our factory girls should read and write, wear 
clean clothes, have decent beds, and eat hot meat every day. 
But that is now impossible. Gradually, with very up-hill 
work, but still I trust with sure work, much will be done to 
improve their position and render their life respectable ; 
but in England we can have no Lowells. In our thickly 
populated island any commercial Utopia is out of the ques- 
tion. Nor can, as 1 think, Lowell be taken as a type of the 
future manufacturing towns of New England. When New 
England employs millions in her factories instead of thou- 
sands — the hands employed at Lowell, when the mills are 
at full work, are about 11,000 — she must cease to provide 



for them their beds and meals, their church-going proprieties 
and orderly modes of life. In such an attempt slie has all 
the experience of the world against her. But nevertheless 
I think she will have done much good. The tone which 
she will have given will not altogether lose its influence. 
Employment in a factory is now considered reputable by a 
farmer and his children, and this idea will remain. Factory 
work is regarded as more respectable than domestic service, 
and this prestige will not wear itself altogether out. Those 
now employed have a strong conception of the dignity of 
their own social position, and their successors will inherit 
much of this, even though they may find themselves excluded 
from the advantages of the present Utopia. The thing has 
begun well, but it can only be regarded as a beginning. 
Steam, it may be presumed, will become the motive power 
of cotton mills in New England as it is with us ; and when 
it is so, the amount of work to be done at any one place 
will not be checked by any such limit as that which now 
prevails at Lowell. Water-power is very cheap, but it 
cannot be extended ; and it would seem that no place can 
become large as a manufacturing town which has to depend 
chiefly upon water. It is not improbable that steam may 
be brought into general use at Lowell, and that Lowell may 
spread itself If it should spread itself widely, it will lose 
its Utopian characteristics. 

One cannot but be greatly struck by the spirit of philan- 
thropy in which the system of Lowell was at first instituted. 
It may be presumed that men who put their money into 
such an undertaking did so with the object of commercial 
profit to themselves ; but in this case that was not their 
first object. I think it may be taken for granted that when 
Messrs. Jackson and Lowell went about their task, their 
grand idea was to place factory work upon a respectable 
footing — to give employment in mills which should not be 
unhealthy, degrading, demoralizing, or hard in its circum- 
stances. Throughout the Northern States of America the 
same feeling is to be seen. Good and thoughtful men have 
been active to spread education, to maintain health, to 
make work compatible with comfort and personal dignity, 
and to divest the ordinary lot of man of the sting of that 
curse which was supposed to be uttered when our first 
father was ordered to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow. 
One is driven to contrast this feeling, of which on all sides 



one sees such ample testimony, with that sharp desire for 
profit, that anxiety to do a stroke of trade at every turn, 
that acknowledged necessity of being smart, which we must 
own is quite as general as the nobler propensity. I believe 
that both phases of commercial activity may be attributed 
to the same characteristic. Men in trade in America are 
not more covetous than tradesmen in England, nor probably 
are they more generous or philanthropical. But that which 
they do, they are more anxious to do thoroughly and 
quickly. They desire that every turn taken shall be a great 
turn — or at any rate that it shall be as great as possible. 
Ttiey go ahead either for bad or good with all the energy 
they have. In the institutions at Lowell I think we may 
allow that the good has very much prevailed. 

I went over two of the mills, those of the Merrimack 
corporation and of the Massachusetts. At the former the 
printing establishment only was at work ; the cotton mills 
were closed. I hardly know whether it will interest any 
one to learn that something under half a million yards of 
calico are here printed annually. At the Lowell Bleachery 
fifteen million yards are dyed annually. The Merrimack 
Cotton Mills were stopped, and so had the other mills at 
Lowell been stopped, till some short time before my visit. 
Trade had been bad, and there had of course been a lack of 
cotton. I was assured that no severe suffering had been 
created by this stoppage. The greater number of hands 
had returned into the country — to the farms from whence 
they had come; and though a discontinuance of work and 
wages had of course produced hardship, there had been no 
actual privation — no hunger and want. Those of the work- 
people who had no homes out of Lowell to which to betake 
themselves, and no means at Lowell of living, had received 
relief before real suffering had begun. I was assured, with 
something of a smile of contempt at the question, that there 
had been nothing like hunger. But, as I said before, visi- 
tors always see a great deal of rose color, and should en- 
deavor to allay the brilliancy of the tint with the proper 
amount of human shading. But do not let any visitor mix 
in the browns with too heavy a hand ! 

At the Massachusetts Cotton Mills they were working 
with about two-thirds of their full number of hands, and 
this, I was told, was about the average of the number now 
employed throughout Lowell. Working at this rate they 




had now on hand a supply of cotton to last them for six 
months. Their stocks had been increased lately, and on 
asking from whence, I was informed that that last received 
had come to them from Liverpool. There is, I believe, no 
doubt but that a considerable quantity of cotton has been 
shipped back from England to the States since the civil 
war began. I asked the gentleman, to whose care at Lowell 
I was consigned, whether he expected to get cotton from 
the South — for at that time Beaufort, in South Carolina, 
had just been taken by the naval expedition. He had, he 
said, a political expectation of a supply of cotton, but not 
a commercial expectation. That at least was the gist of 
his reply, and I found it to be both intelligent and intel- 
ligible. The Massachusetts Mills, when at full work, em- 
ploy 1300 females and 400 males, and turn out 540,000 
yards of calico per week. 

On my return from Lowell in the smoking car, an old 
man came and squeezed in next to me. The place was ter- 
ribly crowded, and as the old man was thin and clean and 
quiet, I willingly made room for him, so as to avoid the 
contiguity of a neighbor who might be neither thin, nor 
clean, nor quiet. He began talking to me in whispers 
about the war, and I was suspicious that he was a South- 
erner and a secessionist. Under such circumstances his 
company might not be agreeable, unless he could be induced 
to hold his tongue. At last he said, " I come from Canada, 
you know, and you — you're an Englishman, and therefore I 
can speak to you openly;" and he gave me an afi'ectionate 
grip on the knee with his old skinny hand. I suppose I do 
look more like an Englishman than an American, but I was 
surprised at his knowing me with such certainty. "There 
is no mistaking you," he said, "with your round face and 
your red cheeks. They don't look like that here," and he 
gave me another grip. I felt quite fond of the old man, 
and offered him a cigar. 





We all know that the subject which appears above as 
the title of this chapter is a very favorite subject in Amer- 
ica. It is, I hope, a very favorite subject here also, and I 
am inclined to think has been so for many years past. The 
rights of women, as contradistinguished from the wrongs of 
women, has perhaps been the most precious of the legacies 
left to us by the feudal ages. How, amid the rough dark- 
ness of old Teuton rule, women began to receive that 
respect which is now their dearest right, is one of the most 
interesting studies of history. It came, I take it, chiefly 
from their own conduct. The women of the old classic 
races seem to have enjoyed but a small amount of respect 
or of rights, and to have deserved as little. It may have 
been very well for one Caesar to have said that his wife 
should be above suspicion ; but his wife was put away, and 
therefore either did not have her rights, or else had justly 
forfeited them. The daughter of the next Caesar lived in 
Home the life of a Messalina, and did not on that account 
seem to have lost her "position in society," till she abso- 
lutely declined to throw any vail whatever over her pro- 
pensities. But as the Roman empire fell, chivalry began. 
For a time even chivalry afforded but a dull time to the 
women. During the musical period of the Troubadours, 
ladies, I fancy, had but little to amuse them save the music. 
But that was the beginning, and from that time downward 
the rights of women have progressed very favorably. It 
may be that they have not yet all that should belong to 
them. If that be the case, let the men lose no time in 
making up the difference. But it seems to me that the 
women who are now fnaking their claims may perhaps 
hardly know when they are well off. It will be an ill 
movement if they insist on throwing away any of the ad- 
vantages they have won. As for the women in America 
especially, I must confess that I think they have a "good 



time." I make them my compliments on their sagacity, in- 
telligence, and attractions, but 1 utterly refuse to them any 
sympathy for supposed wrongs. forlunatas, sua si bona 
norint! Whether or no, were I an American married man 
and father of a family, I should not go in for the rights of 
man — that is altogether another question. 

This question of the rights of women divides itself into 
two heads — one of which is very important, worthy of much 
consideration, capable perhaps of much philanthropic action, 
and at any rate affording matter for grave discussion. This 
is the question of women's work : How far the work of the 
world, which is now borne chiefly by men, should be thrown 
open to women further than is now done ? The other seems 
to me to be worthy of no consideration, to be capable of no 
action, to admit of no grave discussion. This refers to the 
political rights of women: How far the political working of 
the world, which is now entirely in the hands of men, should 
be divided between them and women ? The first question 
is being debated on our side of the Atlantic as keenly per- 
haps as on the American side. As to that other question, 
I do not know that much has ever been said about it in 

"You are doing nothing in England toward the employ- 
ment of females," a lady said to me in one of the States 
soon after my arrival in America. "Pardon me," I an- 
swered, "I think we are doing much, perhaps too much. 
At any rate we are doing something." I then explained 
to her how Miss Faithful had instituted a printing estab- 
lishment in London ; how all the work in that concern was 
done by females, except such heavy tasks as those for which 
women could not be fitted, and I handed to her one of Miss 
Faithful's cards. "Ah," said my American friend, "poor 
creatures I I have no doubt their very flesh will be worked 
off their bones." I thought this a little unjust on her part; 
but nevertheless it occurred to me as an answer not unfit to 
be made by some other lady — by some woman who had not 
already advocated the increased employment of women. 
Let Miss Faithful look to that. Not that she will work 
the flesh off her young women's bones, or allow such ter- 
rible consequences to take place in Coram Street; not that 
she or that those connected with her in that enterprise will 
do aught but good to those employed therein. It will not 
even be said of her individually, or of her partners, that 



tliey have worked the flesh off women's bones; but may it 
not come to this, that when the tasks now done by men 
have been shifted to the shouklers of women, women 
themselves will so complain ? May it not go further, and 
come even to this, that women will have cause for such 
complaint? I do not think that such a result will come, 
because I do not think that the object desired by those who 
are active in the matter will be attained. Men, as a general 
rule among civilized nations, have elected to earn their own 
bread and the bread of the women also, and from this 
resolve on their part I do not think that they will be beaten 

We know that Mrs. Dall, an American lady, has taken 
up this subject, and has written a book on it, in which 
great good sense and honesty of purpose is shown. Mrs. 
Dall is a strong advocate for the increased employment of 
women, and I, with great deference, disagree with her. I 
allude to her book now because she has pointed out, I think 
very strongly, the great reason why women do not engage 
themselves advantageously in trade pursuits. She by no 
means overpraises her own sex, and openly declares that 
young women will not consent to place themselves in fair 
competition with men. They will not undergo the labor 
and servitude of long study at their trades. They will not 
give themselves up to an apprenticeship. They will not 
enter upon their tasks as though they were to be the tasks 
of their lives. They may have the same physical and 
mental aptitudes for learning a trade as men, but they have 
not the same devotion to the pursuit, and will not bind 
themselves to it thoroughly as men do. In all which I 
quite agree with Mrs. Dall ; and the English of it is — that 
the young women want to get married. 

God forbid that they should not so want. Indeed, God 
has forbidden in a very express way that there should be 
any lack of such a desire on the part of women. There 
has of late years arisen a feeling among masses of the best 
of our English ladies that this feminine propensity should 
be checked. We are told that unmarried women may be 
respectable, which we always knew ; that they may be 
useful, which we also acknowledge — thinking still that, if 
married, they would be more useful ; and that they may be 
happy, which we trust — feeling confident, however, that they 
might in another position be more happy. But the ques- 



tion ia not only as to the respectability, usefulness, and hap- 
piness of womankind, but as ta that of men also. If women 
can do without marriage, can men do so ? And if not, how 
are the men to get wives, if the women elect to remain 
single ? 

It will be thought that I am treating the subject as though 
it were simply jocose, but I beg to assure my reader that 
such is not my intention. It certainly is the fact that that 
disinclination to an apprenticeship and unwillingness to bear 
the long training for a trade, of which Mrs. Dall complains 
on the part of young women, arise from the fact that they 
have other hopes with which such apprenticeships would jar ; 
and it is also certain that if such disinclination be overcome 
on the part of any great number, it must be overcome by 
the destruction or banishment of such hopes. The question 
is whether good or evil would result from such a change. 
It is often said that whatever difficulty a woman may have 
in getting a husband, no man need encounter difficulty in 
finding a wife. But, in spite of this seeming fact, I think 
it must be allowed that if women are withdrawn from the 
marriage market, men must be withdrawn from it also to 
the same extent. 

In any broad view of this matter, we are bound to look 
not on any individual case, and the possible remedies for 
such cases, but on the position in the world occupied by 
women in general — on the general happiness and welfare 
of the aggregate feminine world, and perhaps also a little 
on the general happiness and welfare of the aggregate male 
world. When ladies and gentlemen advocate the right of 
women to employment, they are taking very different ground 
from that on which stand those less extensive philanthro- 
pists who exert themselves for the benefit of distressed nee- 
dlewomen, for instance, or for the alleviation of the more 
bitter misery of governesses. The two questions are in fact 
absolutely antagonistic to each other. The rights-of-women 
advocate is doing his best to create that position for women 
from the possible misfortunes of which the friend of the 
needlewomen is struggling to relieve them. The one is en- 
deavoring to throw work from oft' the shoulders of men on 
to the shoulders of women, and the other is striving to les- 
sen the burden which women are already bearing. Of course 
it is good to relieve distress in individual cases. That Song 
of the Shirt, which I regard as poetry of the immortal kind, 

women's rights and wrongs. 


has done an amount of good infinitely wider than poor 
Hood ever ventured to hope. Of all such efforts I would 
spealv not only with respect, but with loving admiration. 
But of those whose efforts are made to spread work more 
widely among women — to call upon them to make for us 
our watches, to print our books, to sit at our desks as clerks 
and to add up our accounts — much as I may respect the 
individual operators in such a movement, I can express no 
admiration for their judgment. 

I have seen women with ropes round their necks drawing 
a harrow over plowed ground. No one will, I suppose, say 
that they approve of that. But it would not have shocked 
me to see men drawing a harrow. I should have thought it 
slow, unprofitable work ; but my feelings would not have 
been hurt. There must, therefore, be some limit ; but if we 
men teach ourselves to believe that work is good for women, 
where is the limit to be drawn, and who shall draw it ? It 
is true that there is now po actually defined limit. There 
is much work that is commonly open to both sexes. Per- 
sonal domestic attendance is so, and the attendance in shops. 
The use of the needle is shared between men and women ; 
and few, I take it, know where the seamstress ends and 
where the tailor begins. In many trades a woman can be, 
and very often is, the owner and manager of the business. 
Painting is as much open to women as to men, as also is 
literature. There can be no defined limit; but nevertheless 
there is at present a quasi limit, which the rights-of-women 
advocates wish to move, and so to move that women shall 
do more work and not less. A woman now could not well 
be a cab-driver in London ; but are these advocates sure 
that no woman will be a cab-driver when success has attended 
their efforts ? And would they like to see a woman driving 
a cab ? For my part, I confess I do not like to see a woman 
acting as road-keeper on a French railway. I have seen a 
woman acting as hostler at a public stage in Ireland. I 
knew the circumstances — how her husband had become ill 
and incapable, and how she had been allowed to earn the 
wages ; but nevertheless the sight was to me disagreeable, 
and seemed, as far as it went, to degrade the sex. Chivalry 
has been very active in raising women from the hard and 
hardening tasks of the world ; and through this action they 
have become soft, tender, and virtuous. It seems to me that 



they of whom I am now speaking are desirous of undoing 
what chivalry has done. 

The argument used is of course plain enough. It is said 
that women are left destitute in the world — destitute unless 
they can be self-dependent, and that to women should be 
given the same open access to wages that men possess, in 
order that they may be as self-dependent as men. Why 
should a young woman, for whom no father is able to pro- 
vide, not enjoy those means of provision which are open to 
a young man so circumstanced ? But I think the answer is 
Tery simple. The young man, under the happiest circum- 
stances which may befall him, is bound to earn his bread. 
The young woman is only so bound when happy circum- 
stances do not befall her. Should we endeavor to make 
the recurrence of unhappy circumstances more general or 
less so ? What does any tradesman, any professional man, 
any mechanic wish for his children ? Is it not this, that his 
sons shall go forth and earn their bread, and that his daugh- 
ters shall remain with him till they are married ? Is not 
that the mother's wish ? Is it not notorious that such is the 
wish of us all as to our daughters ? In advocating the 
rights of women it is of other men's girls that we think, 
never of our own. 

But, nevertheless, what shall we do for those women who 
must earn their bread by their own work ? Whatever we 
do, do not let us willfully increase their number. By open- 
ing trades to women, by making them printers, watchmakers, 
accountants, or what not, we shall not simply relieve those 
who must now earn their bread by some such work or else 
starve. It will not be within our power to stop ourselves 
exactly at a certain point ; to arrange that those women 
who under existing circumstances may now be in want shall 
be thus placed beyond want, but that no others shall be 
affected. Men, I fear, will be too willing to relieve them- 
selves of some portion of their present burden, should the 
world's altered ways enable them to do so. At present a 
lawyer's clerk may earn perhaps his two guineas a week, 
and he with his wife live on that in fair comfort. But if 
his wife, as well as he, has been brought up as a lawyer's 
clerk, he will look to her also for some amount of wages. 
I doubt whether the two guineas would be much increased, 
but I do not doubt at all that the woman's position would 
be injured. 

women's social position. 


It sccras to me that in discussing this subject philanthro- 
pists fail to take hold of the right end of the argument. 
Money returns from work are very good, and work itself is 
good, as bringing such returns and occupying both body 
and mind ; but the world's work is very hard, and workmen 
are too often overdriven. The question seems to me to be 
this — of all this work have the men got on their own backs 
too heavy a share for them to bear, and should they seek 
relief by throwing more of it upon women ? It is the rights 
of man that we are in fact debating. These watches are 
weary to make, and this type is troublesome to set. We 
have battles to fight and speeches to make, and our hands 
altogether are too full. The women are idle — many of 
them. They shall make the watches for us and set the type; 
and when they have done that, why should they not make 
nails as they do sometimes in Worcestershire, or clean horses, 
or drive the cabs ? They have had an easy time of it for 
these years past, but we'll change that. And then it would 
come to pass that with ropes round their necks the women 
would be drawing harrows across the fields. 

I don't think this will come to pass. The women gener- 
ally do know when they are well off, and are not particularly 
anxious to accept the philanthropy proffered to them — as 
Mrs. Dall says, they do not wish to bind themselves as ap- 
prentices to independent money-making. This cry has been 
louder in America than with us, but even in America it has 
not been efficacious for much. There is in the States, no 
doubt, a sort of hankering after increased influence, a desire 
for that prominence of position which men attain by loud 
voices and brazen foreheads, a desire in the female heart to 
be up and doing something, if the female heart only knew 
what; but even in the States it has hardly advanced beyond 
a few feminine lectures. In many branches of work women 
are less employed than in England. They are not so fre- 
quent behind counters in the shops, and are rarely seen as 
servants in hotels. The fires in such houses are lighted and 
the rooms swept by men. But the American girls may say 
they do not desire to light fires and sweep rooms. They 
are ambitious of the higher classes of wwk. But those 
higher branches of work require study, apprenticeship, a 
devotion of youth ; and that they will not give. It is very 
well for a young man to bind himself for four years, and to 
think of marrying four years after that apprenticeship be 




over. But such a prospectus will not do for a girl. While 
the sun shines the hay must be made, and her sun shines 
earlier in the day than that of him who is to be her husband. 
Let him go through the apprenticeship and the work, and 
she will have sufficient on her hands if she looks well after 
his household. Under nature's teaching she is aware of 
this, and will not bind herself to any other apprenticeship, 
let Mrs. Dall preach as she may. 

I remember seeing, either at New York or Boston, a 
wooden figure of a neat young woman, as large as life, 
standing at a desk with a ledger before her, and looking as 
though the beau ideal of human bliss were realized in her 
employment. Under the figure there was some notice re- 
specting female accountants. Nothing could be nicer than 
the lady's figure, more flowing than the broad lines of her 
drapery, or more attractive than her auburn ringlets. There 
she stood at work, earning her bread without any impedi- 
ment to the natural operation of her female charms, and 
adjusting the accounts of some great firm with as much 
facility as grace. I wonder whether he who designed that 
figure had ever sat or stood at a desk for six hours ; whether 
he knew the dull hum of the brain which comes from long 
attention to another man's figures ; whether he had ever 
soiled his own fingers with the everlasting work of office 
hours, or worn his sleeves threadbare as he leaned, weary in 
body and mind, upon his desk ? Work is a grand thing — 
the grandest thing we have ; but work is not picturesque, 
graceful, and in itself alluring. It sucks the sap out of 
men's bones, and bends their backs, and sometimes breaks 
their hearts ; but though it be so, I for one would not wish 
to throw any heavier share of it on to a woman's shoulders. 
It was pretty to see those young women with spectacles at 
the Boston library; but when I heard that they were there 
from eight in the morning till nine at night, I pitied them 
their loss of all the softness of home, and felt that they 
would not willingly be there, if necessity were less stern. 

Say that by advocating the rights of women, philanthro- 
pists succeed in apportioning more work to their share, will 
they eat more, wear better clothes, lie softer, and have alto- 
gether more of the fruits of work than they do now ? That 
some would do so there can be no doubt; hut as little that 
some would have less. If on the whole they would not have 
more, for what good result is the movement made ? The 

woman's social position. 


first question is, whether at the present time they have less 
than their proper share. There are, unquestionably, terrible 
cases of female want ; and so there are also of want among 
men. Alas ! do we not all feel that it must be so, let the 
philanthropists be ever so energetic ? And if a woman be 
left destitute, without the assistance of father, brother, or 
husband, it would be hard if no means of earning subsist- 
ence were open to her. But the object now sought is not 
that of relieving such distress. It has a much wider tend- 
ency, or at any rate a wider desire. The idea is that women 
will ennoble themselves by making themselves independent, 
by working for their own bread instead of eating bread 
earned by men. It is in that that these new philosophers 
seem to me to err so greatly. Humanity and chivalry have 
succeeded, after a long struggle, in teaching the man to 
work for the woman ; and now the woman rebels against 
such teaching — not because she likes the work, but because 
she desires the influence which attends it. But in this I 
wrong the woman — even the American woman. It is not 
she who desires it, but her philanthropical philosophical 
friends who desire it for her. 

If work were more equally divided between the sexes, 
some women would, of course, receive more of the good 
things of the world. But women generally would not do 
so. The tendency, then, would be to force young women 
out upon their own exertions. Fathers would soon learn to 
think that their daughters should be no more dependent on 
them than their sons ; men would expect their wives to work 
at their own trades ; brothers would be taught to think it 
hard that their sisters should lean on them, and thus women, 
driven upon their own resources, would hardly fare better 
than they do at present. 

After all it is a question of money, and a contest for that 
power and influence which money gives. At present, men 
have the position of the Lower House of Parliament — they 
have to do the harder work, but they hold the purse. Even 
in England there has grown up a feeling that the old law of 
the land gives a married man too much power over the joint 
pecuniary resources of him and his wife, and in America 
this feeling is much stronger, and the old law has been modi- 
fied. Why should a married woman be able to possess 
nothing ? And if such be the law of the land, is it worth a 
woman's while to marry and put herself in such a position ? 



Those are the questions asked by the friends of the rights 
of women. But the young women do marry, and the men 
pour their earnings into their wives' laps. 

If little has as yet been done in extending the rights of 
women by giving them a greater share of the work of the 
world, still less has been done toward giving them their 
portion of political influence. In the States there are many 
men of mark, and women of mark also, who think that 
women should have votes for public elections. Mr. Wendell 
Phillips, the Boston lecturer who advocates abolition, is an 
apostle in this cause also ; and while I was at Boston I read 
the provisions of a will lately left by a millionaire, in which 
he bequeathed some very large sums of money to be ex- 
pended in agitation on this subject. A woman is subject to 
the law ; why then should she not help to make the law ? A 
child is subject to the law, and does not help to make it; 
but the child lacks that discretion which the woman enjoys 
equally with the man. That I take it is the amount of the 
argument in favor of the political rights of women. The 
logic of this is so conclusive that I am prepared to acknowl- 
edge that it admits of no answer. I will only say that the 
mutual good relations between men and women, which are 
so indispensable to our happiness, require that men and 
women should not take to voting at the same time and on 
the same result. If it be decided that women shall have 
political power, let them have it all to themselves for a 
season. If that be so resolved, I think we may safely leave 
it to them to name the time at which they will begin. 

I confess that in the States T have sometimes been driven 
to think that chivalry has been carried too far — that there 
is an attempt to make women think more of the rights of 
their womanhood than is needful. There are ladies' doors at 
hotels, and ladies' drawing-rooms, ladies' sides on the ferry- 
boats, ladies' windows at the post-office for the delivery of 
letters — which, by-the-by, is an atrocious institution, as 
anybody may learn who will look at the advertisements 
called personal in some of the New York papers. Why 
should not young ladies have their letters sent to their 
houses, instead of getting them at a private window? The 
post-office clerks can tell stories about those ladies' windows. 
But at every turn it is necessary to make separate provision 
for ladies. From all this it comes to pass that the baker's 
daughter looks down from a great height on her papa, and 



by no means thinks her brother good enough for her asso- 
ciate. Nature, the great restorer, comes in and teaches her 
to fall in love with the butcher's son. Thus the evil is mit- 
igated ; but I cannot but wish that the young woman should 
not see herself denominated a lady so often, and should re- 
ceive fewer lessons as to the extent of her privileges. I would 
save her, if 1 could, from working at the oven ; I would give 
to her bread and meat earned by her father's care and her 
brother's sweat; but when she has received these good 
things, I would have her proud of the one and by no means 
ashamed of the other. 

Let women say what they will of their rights, or men 
who think themselves generous say what they will for them, 
the question has all been settled both for them and for us 
men by a higher power. They are the nursing mothers of 
mankind, and in that law their fate is written with all its 
joys and all its privileges. It is for men to make those joys 
as lasting and those privileges as perfect as may be. That 
women should have their rights no man will deny. To my 
thinking, neither increase of work nor increase of political 
influence are among them. The best right a woman has is 
the right to a husband, and that is the right to which I 
would recommend every young woman here and in the 
States to turn her best attention. On the whole, I think 
that my doctrine will be more acceptable than that of Mrs. 
Dall or Mr. Wendell Phillips. 



The one matter in which, as far as my judgment goes, 
the people of the United States have excelled us English- 
men, so as to justify them in taking to themselves praise 
which we cannot take to ourselves or refuse to them, is the 
matter of Education. In saying this, I do not think that 
I am proclaiming anything disgraceful to England, though 
I am proclaiming much that is creditable to America. To 
the Americans of the States was given the good fortune of 




beginning at the beginning. The French at the time of 
their revolution endeavored to reorganize everything, and 
to begin the world again with new habits and grand theo- 
ries ; but the French as a people were too old for such a 
change, and the theories fell to the ground. But in the 
States, after their revolution, an Anglo-Saxon people had 
an opportunity of making a new State, with all the expe- 
rience of the world before them; and to this matter of 
education they were from the first aware that they must 
look for their success. They did so ; and unrivaled pop- 
ulation, wealth, and intelligence has been the result; and 
with these, looking at the whole masses of the people — I 
think I am justified in saying — unrivaled comfort and hap- 
piness. It is not that you, my reader, to whom in this 
matter of education fortune and your parents have probably 
been bountiful, would have been more happy in New York 
than in London. It is not that I, who, at any rate, can 
read and write, have cause to wish that I had been an 
American. But it is this : if you and I can count up in a 
day all those on whom our eyes may rest and learn the cir- 
cumstances of their lives, we shall be driven to conclude 
that nine-tenths of that number would have had a better 
life as Americans than they can have in their spheres as 
Englishmen. The States are at a discount with us now, in 
the beginning of this year of grace 1862; and Englishmen 
were not very willing to admit the above statement, even 
when the States were not at a discount. But I do not 
think that a man can travel through the States with his 
eyes open and not admit the fact. Many things will con- 
spire to induce him to shut his eyes and admit no conclusion 
favorable to the Americans. Men and women will some- 
times be impudent to him ; the better his coat, the greater 
the impudence. He will be pelted with the braggadocio 
of equality. The corns of his Old World conservatism will 
be trampled on hourly by the purposely vicious herd of un- 
couth democracy. The fact that he is paymaster will go 
for nothing, and will fail to insure civility. I shall never 
forget my agony as I saw and heard my desk fall from a 
porter's hand on a railway station, as he tossed it from him 
seven yards off on to the hard pavement. I heard its poor, 
weak intestines rattle in their death struggle, and knowing 
that it was smashed, I forgot my position on American soil 
and remonstrated. ''It's my desk, and you have utterly 



destroyed it," I said. "Ha! ha I ha I" laughed the por- 
ter. "You've destroyed iny property," I rejoined, "and 
it's no laughing matter." And then all the crowd laughed. 
"Guess you'd better get it glued," said one. So I gathered 
up the broken article and retired mournfully and crestfallen 
into a coach. This was very sad, and foi- the moment I 
deplored the ill luck which had brought me to so savage a 
country. Such and such like are the incidents which make 
an Englishman in the States unhappy, and rouse his gall 
against the institutions of the country; these things and 
the continued appliance of the irritating ointment of Amer- 
ican braggadocio with which his sores are kept open. But 
though I was badly off on that railway platform, worse 
off than I should have been in England, all that crowd of 
porters round me were better off than our English por- 
ters. They had a "good time" of it. And this, my Eng- 
lish brother who has traveled through the States and re- 
turned disgusted, is the fact throughout. Those men whose 
familiarity was so disgusting to you are having a good time 
of it. "They might be a little more civil," you say, "and 
yet read and write just as well." True ; but they are argu- 
ing in their minds that civility to you will be taken by you 
for subservience, or for an acknowledgment of superiority ; 
and looking at your habits of life — yours and mine together 
— I am not quite sure that they are altogether wrong. Have 
you ever realized to yourself as a fact that the porter who 
carries your box has not made himself inferior to you by 
the very act of carrying that box ? If not, that is the very 
lesson which the man wishes to teach you. 

If a man can forget his own miseries in his journeyings, 
and think of the people he comes to see rather than of him- 
self, I think he will find himself driven to admit that educa- 
tion has made life for the million in the Northern States 
better than life for the million is with us. They have begun 
at the beginning, and have so managed that every one may 
learn to read and write — have so managed that almost every 
one does learn to read and write. With us this cannot now 
be done. Population had come upon us in masses too thick 
for management, before we had as yet acknowledged that it 
would be a good thing that these masses should be educated. 
Prejudices, too, had sprung up, and habits, and strong sec- 
tional feelings, all antagonistic to a great national system 
of education. We are, I suppose, now doing all that we 



can do ; but comparatively it is little. I think I saw some 
time since that the cost for gratuitous education, or educa- 
tion in part gratuitous, wliicli had fallen upon the nation 
had already amounted to the sum of 800,000/.; and I think 
also that I read in the document which revealed to me this 
fact a very strong opinion that government could not at pres- 
ent go much further. But if this matter were regarded in Eng- 
land as it is regarded in Massachusetts, or rather, had it from 
some prosperous beginning been put upon a similar footing, 
800,000/. would not have been esteemed a great expenditure 
for free education simply in the City of London. In 1857 
the public schools of Boston cost 10,000/ , and these schools 
were devoted to a population of about 180,000 souls. Tak- 
ing the population of London at two and a half millions, 
the whole sum now devoted to England would, if expended 
in the metropolis, make education there even cheaper than 
it is in Boston. In Boston, during 1857, there were above 
24,000 pupils at these public schools, giving more than 
one-eighth of the whole population. But I fear it would 
not be practicable for us to spend 800,000/. on the gratui- 
tous education of London. Rich as we are, we should not 
know where to raise the money. In Boston it is raised by 
a separate tax. It is a thing understood, acknowledged, 
and made easy by being habitual — as is our national debt. 
I do not know that Boston is peculiarly blessed, but I quote 
the instance, as I have a record of its schools before me. 
At the three high schools in Boston, at which the average 
of pupils is 526, about 13/. per head is paid for free edu- 
cation. The average price per annum of a child's school- 
ing throughout these schools in Boston is about 3/. for 
each. To the higher schools any boy or girl may attain 
without any expense, and the education is probably as good 
as can be given, and as far advanced. The only question 
is, whether it is not advanced further than may be neces- 
sary. Here, as at New York, I was almost startled by the 
amount of knowledge around me, and listened, as I might 
have done to an examination in theology among young 
Brahmins. When a young lad explained in my hearing all 
the properties of the different levers as exemplified by the 
bones of the human body, I bowed my head before him in 
unaffected humility. We, at our English schools, never 
got beyond the use of those bones which he described with 
such accurate scientific knowledge. In one of the girls' 



schools they were reading Milton, and when we entered 
were discussing the nature of the pool in which the devil is 
described as wallowing. The question had been raised by 
one of the girls. A pool, so called, was supposed to con- 
tain but a small amount of water, and how could the devil, 
being so large, get into it ? Then came the origin of the 
word pool — from ''palus," a marsh, as we were told, some 
dictionary attesting to the fact, and such a marsh might 
cover a large expanse. The "Palus Maiotis" was then 
quoted. And so we went on till Satan's theory of politi- 
cal liberty, 

" Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven," 

was thoroughly discussed and understood. These girls of 
sixteen and seventeen got up one after another and gave 
their opinions on the subject — how far the devil was right, 
and how far he was manifestly v/rong. I was attended by 
one of the directors or guardians of the schools ; and the 
teacher, I thought, was a little embarrassed by her position. 
But the girls themselves were as easy in their demeanor as 
though they were stitching handkerchiefs at home. 

It is impossible to refrain from telling all this, and from 
making a little innocent fun out of the superexcellencies of 
these schools ; but the total result on my mind was very 
greatly in their favor. And indeed the testimony came in both 
ways. Not only was I called on to form an opinion of what 
the men and women would beco le from the education which 
was given to the boys and girls, but also to say what must 
have been the education of the boys and girls from what I 
saw of the men and women. Of course it will be under- 
stood that I am not here speaking of those I met in society 
or of their children, but of the working people — of that 
class who find that a gratuitous education for their children 
is needful, if any considerable amount of education is to be 
given. The result is to be seen daily in the whole inter-^ 
course of life. The coachman who drives you, the man who 
mends your window, the boy who brings home your pur- 
chases, the girl who stitches your wife's dress, — they all 
carry with them sure signs of education, and. show it in 
every word they utter. 

It will of course be understood that this is, in the sepa- 
rate States, a matter of State law ; indeed, I may go fur- 
ther, and say that it is, in most of the States, a matter of 



State constitution. It is by no means a matter of Federal 
constitution. The United States as a nation takes no heed 
of tlie education of its people. All that is left to the judg- 
ment of the separate States. In most of the thirteen orig- 
inal States provision is made in the written constitution for 
the general education of the people ; but this is not done 
in all. I find that it was more frequently done in the North- 
ern or free-soil States than in those which admitted slavery, 
as might have been expected. In the constitutions of South 
Carolina and Virginia I find no allusion to the public pro- 
vision for education ; but in those of North Carolina and 
Georgia it is enjoined. The forty-first section of the con- 
stitution for North Carolina enjoins that "schools shall be 
established by the legislature for the convenient instruction 
of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the 
public, as may enable them to instruct at low pi^ices" — 
showing that the intention here was to assist education, and 
not provide it altogether gratuitously. I think that pro- 
vision for public education is enjoined in the constitutions 
of all the States admitted into the Union since the first 
Federal knot was tied except in that of Illinois. Vermont 
was the first so admitted, in 1791 ; and Vermont declares 
that " a competent number of schools ought to be main- 
tained in each town for the convenient instruction of youth." 
Ohio was the second, in 1802 ; and Ohio enjoins that "the 
General Assembly shall make such provisions by taxation 
or otherwise as, with the income arising from the school 
trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of 
common schools throughout the State ; but no religious or 
other sect or sects shall ever have any exclusive right or 
control of any part of the school funds of this State." In 
Indiana, admitted in 1816, it is required that "the General 
Assembly shall provide by law for a general and uniform 
system of common schools." Illinois was admitted next, in 
1818; but the constitution of Illinois is silent on the sub- 
ject of education. It enjoins, however, in lieu of this, that 
no person shall fight a duel or send a challenge ! If he do, 
he is not only to be punished, but to be deprived forever of 
the power of holding any office of honor or profit in the 
State. I have no reason, however, for supposing that edu- 
cation is neglected in Illinois, or that dueling has been abol- 
ished. In xMaine it is demanded that the towns — the whole 
country is divided into what are called towns — shall make 



suitable provision at their own expense for the support and 
maintenance of public schools. 

Some of these constitutional enactments are most mag- 
niloquently worded, but not always with precise grammati- 
cal correctness. That for the famous Bay State of Massa- 
chusetts runs as follows : "Wisdom and knowledge, as well 
as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, 
being necessary for the preservation of their rights and lib- 
erties, and as these depend on spreading the opportunities 
and advantages of education in the various parts of the 
country and among the different orders of the people, it 
shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all 
future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interest 
of literature and the sciences, and of all seminaries of them, 
especially the University at Cambridge, public schools and 
grammar schools, in the towns ; to encourage private soci- 
eties and public institutions by rewards and immunities for 
the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, 
manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to coun- 
tenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and gen- 
eral benevolence, public and private charity, industry and 
frugality, honesty and punctuality in all their dealings; sin- 
cerity, good humor, and all social affections and generous 
sentiments among the people." I must confess that, had 
the words of that little constitutional enactment been made 
knowQ to me before I had seen its practical results, I should 
not have put much faith in it. Of all the public schools I 
have ever seen — by public schools I mean schools for the 
people at large maintained at public cost — those of Massa- 
chusetts are, I think, the best. But of all the educational 
enactments which I ever read, that of the same State is, I 
should say, the worst. In Texas now, of which as a State 
the people of Massachusetts do not think much, they have 
done it better: "A general diffusion of knowledge being 
essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of 
the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of this 
State to make suitable provision for the support and main- 
tenance of public schools." So say the Texans ; but then 
the Texans had the advantage of a later experience than 
any which fell in the way of the constitution-makers of 

There is something of the magniloquence of the French 
style — of the liberty, equality, and fraternity mode of elo- 



quence — in the preambles of most of these constitutions, 
which, but for their success, would have seemed to have 
prophesied loudly of failure. Those of New York and 
Pennsylvania are the least so, and that of Massachusetts 
by far the most violently magniloquent. They generally 
commence by thanking God for the present civil and re- 
ligious liberty of the people, and by declaring that all men 
are born free and equal. New York and Pennsylvania, 
however, refrain from any such very general remarks. 

I am well aware that all these constitutional enactments 
are not likely to obtain much credit in England. It is not 
only that grand phrases fail to convince us, but that they 
carry to our senses almost an assurance of their own inef- 
ficiency. When we hear that a people have declared their 
intention of being henceforward better than their neighbors, 
and going upon a new theory that shall lead them direct to 
a terrestrial paradise, we button up our pockets and lock up 
our spoons. And that is what we have done very much as 
regards the Americans. We have walked with them and 
talked with them, and bought with them and sold with them ; 
but we have mistrusted them as to their internal habits and 
modes of life, thinking that their philanthropy was preten- 
tious and that their theories were vague. Many cities in the 
States are but skeletons of towns, the streets being there, 
and the houses numbered — but not one house built out of 
ten that have been so counted up. We have regarded their 
institutions as we regard those cities, and have been spe- 
cially willing so to consider them because of the fine lan- 
guage in which they have been paraded before us. They have 
been regarded as the skeletons of philanthropical systems, 
to which blood and flesh and muscle, and even, skin, are 
wanting. But it is at least but fair to inquire how far the 
promise made has been carried out. The elaborate word- 
ings of the constitutions made by the French politicians in 
the days of their great revolution have always been to us no 
more than so many written grimaces ; but we should not 
have continued so to regard them had the political liberty 
which they promised followed upon the promises so mag- 
niloquently made. As regards education in the States — at 
any rate in the Northern and Western States — 1 think that 
the assurances put forth in the various written constitutions 
have been kept. If this be so, an American citizen, let him 
be ever so arrogant, ever so impudent if you will, is at any 



rate a civilized being, and on the road to tliat cultivation 
which will sooner or later divest him of his arrogance. 
Emollit mores. We quote here our old friend the colonel 
again. If a gentleman be compelled to confine his classical 
allusions to one quotation, he cannot do better than hang 
by that. 

But has education been so general, and has it had the 
desired result? In the City of Boston, as I have sj'.id, I 
found that in 1857 about one-eighth of the whole population 
were then on the books of the free public schools as pupils, 
and that about one-ninth of the population formed the 
average daily attendance. To these numbers of course i 
must be added all pupils of the richer classes — those for 
whose education their parents chose to pay. As nearly as 
I can learn, the average duration of each pupil's schooling 
is six years, and if this be figured out statistically, I think 
it will show that education in Boston reaches a very large 
majority — I might almost say the whole — of the population 
That the education given in other towns of Massachusetts 
is not so good as that given in Boston I do not doubt, but 
I have reason to believe that it is quite as general. 

I have spoken of one of the schools of New York. In that 
city the public schools are apportioned to the wards, and 
are so arranged that in each ward of the city there are 
public schools of different standing for the gratuitous use of 
the children. The population of the City of New York in 
1857 was about 650,000, and in that year it is stated that 
there were 135,000 pupils in the schools. By this it would 
appear that one person in five throughout the city was then 
under process of education — which statement, however, I 
cannot receive with implicit credence. It is, however, also 
stated that the daily attendances averaged something less 
than 50,000 a day, and this latter statement probably implies 
some mistake in the former one. Taking the two together 
for what they are worth, they show, I think, that school 
teaching is not only brought within the reach of the popula- 
tion generally, but is used by almost all classes. At New 
York there are separate free schools for colored children. 
At Philadelphia I did not see the schools, but I was assured 
that the arrangements there were equal to those at New 
York and Boston. Indeed I was told that they were in- 
finitely better ; but then I was so told by a Philadelphian. 
In the State of Connecticut the public schools are certainly 




equal to those in any part of the IJnion. As far as I could 
learn etlaeation — what we should call advanced education — 
is brought within the reach of all classes in the Northern 
and Western States of America — and, I would wish to add 
here, to those of the Canadas also. 

So much for the schools, and now for the results. I do 
not know that anything impresses a visitor more strongly 
with the amount of books sold in the States, than the prac- 
tice of selling them as it has been adopted in the railway 
cars. Personally the traveler will find the system very dis- 
agreeable — as is everything connected with these cars. A 
young man enters during the journey — for the trade is car- 
ried out while the cars are traveling, as is also a very brisk 
trade in lollipops, sugar-candy, apples, and ham sand- 
wiches — the young tradesman enters the car firstly with a 
pile of magazines, or of novels bound like magazines. These 
are chiefly the "Atlantic," published at Boston, "Harper's 
Magazine," published at New York, and a cheap series of 
novels published at Philadelphia. As he walks along he 
flings one at every passenger. An Englishman, when he is 
first introduced to this manner of trade, becomes much 
astonished. He is probably reading, and on a sudden he 
finds a fat, fluffy magazine, very unattractive in its exterior, 
dropped on to the page he is perusing. I thought at first 
that it was a present from some crazed philanthropist, who 
was thus endeavoring to disseminate literature. But I was 
soon undeceived. The bookseller, having gone down the 
whole car and the next, returned, and beginning again 
where he had begun before, picked up either his magazine 
or else the price of it. Then, in some half hour, he came 
again, with an armful or basket of books, and distributed 
them in the same way. They were generally novels, but 
not always. I do not think that any endeavor is made to 
assimilate the book to the expected customer. The object 
is to bring the book and the man together, and in this way 
a very large sale is effected. The same thing is done with 
illustrated newspapers. The sale of political newspapers 
goes on so quickly in these cars that no such enforced dis- 
tribution is necessary. I should say that the average con- 
sumption of newspapers by an American must amount to 
about three a day. At Washington I begged the keeper 
of my lodgings to let me have a paper regularly — one 



American newspaper being much the same to me as another 
— and my host supplied me daily with four. 

But the numbers of the popular books of the day, printed 
and sold, afford the most conclusive proof of the extent to 
which education is carried in the States. The readers of 
Tennyson, Mackay, Dickens, Bulwer, Collins, Hughes, and 
Martin Tupper are to be counted by tens of thousands in 
the States, to the thousands by which they may be counted 
in our own islands. I do not doubt that I had fully fifteen 
copies of the Silver Cord" thrown at my head in different 
railway cars on the continent of America. Nor is the taste 
by any means confined to the literature of England. Long- 
fellow, Curtis, Holmes, Hawthorne, Lowell, Emerson, and 
Mrs. Stowe are almost as popular as their English rivals. 
I do not say whether or no the literature is well chosen, 
but there it is. It is printed, sold, and read. The disposal 
of ten thousand copies of a work is no large sale in America 
of a book published at a dollar ; but in England it is a very 
large sale of a book brought out at five shillings. 

I do not remember that I ever examined the rooms of an 
iimerican without finding books or magazines in them. I 
do not speak here of the houses of my friends, as of course 
the same remark would apply as strongly in England; but 
of the houses of persons presumed to earn their bread by 
the labor of their hands. The opportunity for such exam- 
ination does not come daily; but when it has been in my 
power I have made it, and have always found signs of edu- 
cation. Men and women of the classes to which I allude 
talk of reading and writing as of arts belonging to them as 
a matter of course, quite as much as are the arts of eating 
and drinking. A porter or a farmer's servant in the States 
is not proud of reading and writing. It is to him quite a 
matter of course. The coachmen on their boxes and the 
boots as they set in the halls of the hotels have newspapers 
constantly in their hands. The young women have them 
also, and the children. The fact comes home to one at 
every turn, and at every hour, that the people are an edu- 
cated people. The whole of this question between North 
and South is as well understood by the servants as by their 
masters, is discussed as vehemently by the private soldiers 
as by the officers. The politics of the country and the 
nature of its Constitution are familiar to every laborer. 
The very wording of the Declaration of Independence is 



in the memory of every lad of sixteen. Boys and girls of 
a younger age than that know why Slidell and Mason were 
arrested, and will tell you why they should have been given 
up, or why they should have been held in durance. The 
question of the war with England is debated by every native 
pavior and hodman of New York. 

I know what Englishmen will say in answer to this. They 
will declare that they do not want their paviors and hod- 
men to talk politics ; that they are as well pleased that their 
coachmen and cooks should not always have a newspaper in 
their hands; that private soldiers will fight as well, and 
obey better, if they are not trained to disouss the causes 
which have brought them into the field. An English gen- 
tleman will think that his gardener will be a better gardener 
without than with any excessive political ardor, and the 
English lady will prefer that her housemaid shall not have 
a very pronounced opinion of her own as to the capabilities 
of the cabinet ministers. But I would submit to all Eng- 
lishmen and English women who may look at these pages 
whether such an opinion or feeling on their part bears much, 
or even at all, upon the subject. I am not saying that the 
man who is driven in the coach is better off because his 
coachman reads the paper, but that the coachman himself 
who reads the paper is better off than the coachman who 
does not and cannot. I think that we are too apt, in con- 
sidering the ways and habits of any people, to judge of 
them by the effect of those ways and habits on us, rather 
than by their effects on the owners of them. When we go 
among garlic eaters, we condemn them because they are 
offensive to us; but to judge of them properly we should 
ascertain whether or no the garlic be offensive to them. If 
we could imagine a nation of vegetarians hearing for the 
first time ot our habits as flesh eaters, we should feel sure 
that they would be struck with horror at our blood-stained 
banquets ; but when they came to argue with us, we should 
bid them inquire whether we flesh eaters did not live longer 
and do more than the vegetarians. When we express a dis- 
like to the shoeboy reading his newspaper, I api)rehend we do 
so because we fear that the shoeboy is coming near our own 
heels, I know there is among us a strong feeling that the 
lower classes are better without politics, as there is also 
that they are better without crinoline and artificial flowers; 
but if politics, and crinoline, and artificial flowers are good 



at all, they are good for all who can honestly come by them 
and honestly use them. The political coachman is perhaps 
less valuable to his master as a coacliman than he would be 
without his politics, but he with his politics is more valuable 
to himself. For myself, I do not like the Americans of the 
lower orders. I am not comfortable among tliem. They 
tread on my corns and offend me. They make my daily life 
unpleasant. But I do respect them. I acknowledge their 
intelligence and personal dignity. I know that they are 
men and women worthy to be so called ; I see that they are 
living as human beings in possession of reasoning faculties; 
and I perceive that they owe this to the progress that edu- 
cation has made among them. 

After all, what is wanted in this world ? Is it not that 
men should eat and drink, and read and write, and say their 
prayers ? Does not that include everything, providing that 
they eat and drink enough, read and write without restraint, 
and say their prayers without hypocrisy ? When we talk 
of the advances of civilization, do we mean anything but 
this, that men who now eat and drink badly shall eat and 
drink well, and that those who cannot read and write now 
shall learn to do so — the prayers following, as prayers will 
follow upon such learning ? Civilization does not consist 
in the eschewing of garlic or the keeping clean of a man's 
finger-nails. It may lead to such delicacies, and probably 
will do so. But the man who thinks that civilization can- 
not exist without them imagines that the church cannot 
stand without the spire. In the States of America men do 
eat and drink, and do read and write. 

But as to saying their prayers ? That, as far as I can 
see, has come also, though perhaps not in a manner alto- 
gether satisfactory, or to a degree which should be held to 
be sufficient. Englishmen of strong religious fec-ing will 
often be startled in America by the freedom with which 
religious subjects are discussed, and the ease with which 
the matter is treated ; but he will very rarely be shocked by 
that utter absence of all knowledge on the subject — that 
total darkness which is still so common among the lower 
orders in our own country. It is not a common thing to 
meet an American who belongs to no denomination of Chris- 
tian worship, and who cannot tell you why he belongs to 
that which he has chosen. 

"But," it will be said, "all the intelligence and education 



of this people have not saved them from falling out among 
themselves and tiieir friends, and running into troubles by 
which they will be ruined. Their political arrangements 
have been so bad that, in spite of all their reading and 
writing, they must go to the wail." I venture to express an 
opinion that they will by no means go to the wall, and that 
they will be saved from such a destiny, if in no other way, 
then by their education. Of their political arrangements, 
as I mean before long to rush into that perilous subject, I 
will say nothing here. But no political convulsions, should 
such arise — no revolution in the Constitution, should such 
be necessary — will have any wide effect on the social posi- 
tion of the people to their serious detriment. They have 
the great qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race — industry, in- 
telligence, and self-confidence ; and if these qualities will 
no longer suffice to keep such a people on their legs, the 
world must be coming to an end. 

I have said that it is not a common thing to meet an 
American who belongs to no denomination of Christian 
worship. This I think is so ; but 1 would not wish to be 
taken as saying that religion, on that account, stands on a 
satisfactory footing in the States. Of all subjects of discus- 
sion, this is the most difficult. It is one as to which most of 
us feel that to some extent we must trust to our prejudices 
rather than our judgments. It is a matter on which we do 
not dare to rely implicitly on our own reasoning faculties, 
and therefore throw ourselves on the opinions of those whom 
we believe to have been better men and deeper thinkers 
than ourselves. For myself, I love the name of State and 
Church, and believe that much of our English well-being 
has depended on it. I have made up my mind to think that 
union good, and am not to be turned away from that convic- 
tion. Nevertheless I am not prepared to argue the matter. 
One does not always carry one's proof at one's finger ends. 

But I feel very strongly that much of that which is evil 
in the structure of American politics is owing to the absence 
of any national religion, and that something also of social 
evil has sprung from the same cause. It is not that men do 
not say their prayers. For aught I know, they may do so 
as frequently and as fervently, or more frequently and more 
fervently, than we do ; but there is a rowdiness, if I may 
be allowed to use such a word, in their manner of doing so 
which robs religion of that reverence which is, if not its 



essence, at any rate its chief protection. It is a part of 
their system that religion shall be perfectly free, and that no 
man shall be in any way constrained in that matter. Con- 
sequently, the question of a man's religion is regarded in a 
free-and-easy way. It is well, for instance, that a young lad 
should go somewhere on a Sunday ; but a sermon is a ser- 
mon, and it does not much concern the lad's father whether 
his son hear the discourse of a freethinker in the music-hall, 
or the eloquent but lengthy outpouring of a preacher in a 
Methodist chapel. Everybody is bound to have a religion, 
but it does not much matter what it is. 

The difficulty in which the first fathers of the Revolution 
found themselves on this question is shown by the constitu- 
tions of the different States. There can be no doubt that 
the inhabitants of the New England States were, as things 
went, a strictly religious community. They had no idea of 
throwing over the worship of God, as the French had 
attempted to do at their revolution. They intended that 
the new nation should be pre-eminently composed of a God- 
fearing people; but they intended also that they should be 
a people free in everything — free to choose their own forms 
of worship. They intended that the nation should be a 
Protestant people; but they intended also that no man's 
conscience should he coerced in the matter of his own reli- 
gion. It was hard to reconcile these two things, and to 
explain to the citizens that it behooved them to worship 
God — even under penalties for omission; but that it was at 
the same time open to them to select any form of worship 
that they pleased, however that form might differ from the 
practices of the majority. In Connecticut it is declared that 
it is the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the 
Creator and Preserver of the universe, but that it is their 
right to render that worship in the mode most consistent 
with the dictates of their consciences. And then, a few lines 
further down, the article skips the great difficulty in a manner 
somewhat disingenuous, and declares that each and every 
society of Christians in the State shall have and enjoy the 
same and equal privileges. But it does not say whether a 
Jew shall be divested of those privileges, or, if he be 
divested, how that treatment of him is to be reconciled with 
the assurance that it is every man's right to worship the 
Supreme Being in the mode most consistent with the dic- 
tates of his own conscience. 



In Rhode Island they were more honest. It is there de- 
clared that every man shall be free to worship God accord- 
ing to the dictates of his own conscience, and to profess and 
by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion; 
and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or 
affect his civil capacity. Here it is simply presumed that 
every man will worship a God, and no allusion is made even 
to Christianity. 

In Massachusetts they are again hardly honest. "It is 
the right," says the constitution, "as well as the duty of all 
men in society publicly and at stated seasons to worship the 
Supreme Being, the Great Creator and Preserver of the 
universe." And then it goes on to say that every man may 
do so in what form he pleases; but further down it declares 
that "every denomination of Christians, demeaning them- 
selves peaceably and as good subjects of the commonwealth, 
shall be equally under the protection of the law." But 
what about those who are not Christians ? In New Hamp- 
shire it is exactly the same. It is enacted chat "every 
individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship 
God according to the dictates of his own conscience and 
reason." And that "every denomination of Christians, 
demeaning themselves quietly and as good citizens of the 
State, shall be equally under the protection of the law." 
From all which it is, I think, manifest that the men who 
framed these documents, desirous above all things of cutting 
themselves and their people loose from every kind of tram- 
mel, still felt the necessity of enforcing religion — of making 
it, to a certain extent, a matter of State duty. In the first 
constitution of North Carolina it is enjoined "that no 
person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the 
Protestant religion, shall be capable of holding any office 
or place of trust or profit." But this was altered in the 
year 1836, and the words "Christian religion" were substi- 
tuted for "Protestant religion." 

In New England the Congregationalists are, I think, the 
dominant sect. In Massachusetts, and I believe in the other 
New England States, a man is presumed to be a Congrega- 
tionalist if he do not declare himself to be anything else; 
as with us the Church of England counts all who do not 
specially have themselves counted elsewhere. The Congre- 
gationalist, as far as I can learn, is very near to a Presby- 
terian. In New England I think the Unitarians would rank 



next in number ; but a Unitarian in America is not the same 
as a Unitarian with us. Here, if I understand the nature 
of his creed, a Unitarian does not recognize the divinity of 
our Saviour. In America he does do so, but throws over 
the doctrine of the Trinity. The Protestant Episcopalians 
muster strong in all the great cities, and I fancy that they 
would be regarded as taking the lead of the other religious 
denominations in New York, Their tendency is to high- 
church doctrines. I wish they had not found it necessary 
to alter the forms of our prayer-book in so many little 
matters, as to which there was no national expediency for 
such changes. But it was probably thought necessary that 
a new people should show their independence in all things. 
The Roman Catholics have a very strong party— as a matter 
of course.— seeing how great has been the emigration from 
Ireland ; but here, as in Ireland— and as indeed is the case 
all the world over — the Roman Catholics are the hewers of 
wood and drawers of water. The Germans, who have lat- 
terly flocked into the States in such swarms that they have 
almost Germanized certain States, have, of course, their own 
churches. In every town there are places of worship for 
Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anabaptists, and every 
denomination of Christianity ; and the meeting-houses pre- 
pared for these sects are not, as with us, hideous buildings, 
contrived to inspire disgust by the enormity of their ugli- 
ness, nor are they called Salem, Ebenezer, and Sion, nor do 
the ministers within them look in any way like the Deputy- 
Shepherd. The churches belonging to those sects are often 
handsome. This is especially the case in New York, and 
the pastors are not unfrequently among the best educated 
and most agreeable men whom the traveler will meet. They 
are for the most part well paid, and are enabled by their 
outward position to hold that place in the world's ranks 
which should always belong to a clergyman. I have not 
been able to obtain information from which I can state with 
anything like correctness what may be the average income 
of ministers of the Gospel in the Northern States ; but that 
it is much higher than the average income of our parish 
clergymen, admits, I think, of no doubt. The stipends of 
clergymen in the American towns are higher than those paid 
in the country. The opposite to this, I think, as a rule, is 
the case with us. 



I have said that religion in the States is rowdy. By that 
I mean to imply that it seems to me to be divested of tliat 
reverential order and strictness of rule which, according to 
our ideas, should be attached to matters of religion. One 
hardly knows where the affairs of this world end, or where 
those of the next begin. When the holy men were had in 
at the lecture, were they doing stage-work or church-work ? 
On hearing sermons, one is often driven to ask one's self 
whether the discourse from the pulpit be in its nature 
political or religious. I heard an Episcopalian Protestant 
clergyman talk of the scoffing nations of Europe, because 
at that moment he was angry with England and France 
about Slidell and Mason. I have heard a chapter of the 
Bible read in Congress at the desire of a member, and very 
badly read. After which the chapter itself and the reading 
of it became a subject of debate, partly jocose and partly 
acrimonious. It is a common thing for a clergyman to 
change his profession and follow any other pursuit. I know 
two or three gentlemen who were once in that line of life, 
but have since gone into other trades. There is, I think, 
an unexpressed determination on the part of the people to 
abandon all reverence, and to regard religion from an alto- 
gether worldly point of view. They are willing to have 
religion, as they are williug to have laws; but they choose 
to make it for themselves. They do not object to pay for 
it, but they like to have the handling of the article for 
which they pay. As the descendants of Puritans and other 
godly Protestants, they will submit to religious teaching, 
but as republicans they will have no priestcraft. The 
French at their revolution had the latter feeling without 
the former, and were therefore consistent with themselves 
in abolishing all worship. The Americans desire to do the 
same thing politically, but infidelity has had no charms for 
them. They say their prayers, and then seem to apologize 
for doing so, as though it were hardly the act of a free and 
enlightened citizen, justified in ruling himself as he pleases. 
All this to me is rowdy. I know no other word by which I 
can so well describe it. 

Nevertheless the nation is religious in its tendencies, and 
prone to acknowledge the goodness of God in all things. 
A man there is expected to belong to some church, and is 
not, I think, well looked on if he profess that he belongs to 


none. He may be a Swedenborgian, a Quaker, a Muggle- 
toniaii, — anything will do. But it is expected of him that 
he shall place himself under some flag, and do his share in 
supporting the flag to which he belongs. This duty is, I 
think, generally fulfilled. 



From Boston, on the 21th of November, my wife re- 
turned to England, leaving me to prosecute my journey 
southward to Washington by myself. I shall never forget 
the political feeling which prevailed in Boston at that time, 
or the discussions on the subject of Slidell and Mason, in 
which I felt myself bound to take a part. Up to that 
period I confess that my sympathies had been strongly with 
the Northern side in the general question ; and so they 
were still, as far as I could divest the matter of its English 
bearings. I have always thought, and do think, that a war 
for the suppression of the Southern rebellion could not have 
been avoided by the North without an absolute loss of its 
political prestige. Mr. Lincoln was elected President of 
the United States in the autumn of 1860, and any steps 
taken by him or his party toward a peaceable solution of the 
difficulties which broke out immediately on his election 
must have been taken before he entered upon his office. 
South Carolina threatened secession as soon as Mr. Lin- 
coln's election was known, while yet there were four months 
left of Mr. Buchanan's government. That Mr. Buchanan 
might, during those four months, have prevented secession, 
few men, I think, will doubt when the history of the time 
shall be written. But instead of doing so he consummated 
secession. Mr. Buchanan is a Northern man, a Pennsyl- 
vanian; but he was opposed to the party which had brought 
in Mr. Lincoln, having thriven as a politician by his ad- 
herence to Southern principles. Now, when the strugglo 



came, he could not forget his party in his duty as President. 
General Jackson's position was much the same when Mr. 
Calhoun, on the question of the tariff, endeavored to pro- 
duce secession in South Carolina thirty years ago, in 1832 — 
excepting in this, that Jackson was himself a Southern man. 
But Jackson had a strong conception of the position which 
he held as President of the United States. He put his foot 
on secession and crushed it, forcing Mr. Calhoun, as Senator 
from South Carolina, to vote for that compromise as to the 
tariff which the government of the day proposed. South 
Carolina was as eager in 1832 for secession as she was 
in 1859-60; but the government was in the hands of a 
strong man and an honest one, Mr. Calhoun would have 
been hung had he carried out his threats. But Mr. Bu- 
chanan had neither the power nor the honesty of General 
Jackson, and thus secession was in fact consummated during 
his Presidency. 

But Mr. Lincoln's party, it is said — and I believe truly 
said — might have prevented secession by making overtures 
to the South, or accepting overtures from the South, before 
Mr. Lincoln himself had been inaugurated. That is to say, 
if Mr. Lincoln and the band of politicians who with him had 
pushed their way to the top of their party, and were about 
to fill the offices of State, chose to throw overboard the po- 
litical convictions which had bound them together and in- 
sured their success — if they could bring themselves to adopt 
on the subject of slavery the ideas of their opponents — then 
the war might have been avoided, and secession also avoided. 
I do believe that had Mr. Lincoln at that time submitted 
himself to a compromise in favor of the Democrats, promis- 
ing the support of the government to certain acts which 
would in fact have been in favor of slavery, South Carolina 
would again have been foiled for the time. For it must be 
understood, that though South Carolina and the Gulf States 
might have accepted certain compromises, they would not 
hjave been satisfied in so accepting them. The desired seces- 
sion, and nothing short of secession, would in truth have 
been acceptable to them. But in doing so Mr, Lincoln 
would have been the most dishonest politician even in 
America. The North would have been in arms against 
him ; and any true spirit of agreement between the cotton- 
growing slave States and the manufacturing States of the 
North, or the agricultural States of the West, would have 


been as far off and as improbable as it is now. Mr. Crit- 
tenden, who proffered his compromise to the Senate in 
December, 18G0, was at that time one of the two Senators 
from Kentucky, a slave State. He now sits in the Lower 
House of Congress as a member from the same State. 
Kentucky is one of those border States which has found it 
impossible to secede, and almost equally impossible to re- 
main in the Union. It is one of the States into which it 
was most probable that the war would be carried — Virginia, 
Kentucky, and Missouri being the three States which have 
suffered the most in this way. Of Mr. Crittenden's own 
family, some have gone with secession and some with the 
Union. His name had been honorably connected with 
American politics for nearly forty years, and it is not sur- 
prising that he should have desired a compromise. His 
terms were in fact these — a return to the Missouri compro- 
mise, under which the Union pledged itself that no slavery 
should exist north of 36 '30° N. lat., unless where it had so 
existed prior to the date of that compromise ; a pledge that 
Congress would not interfere with slavery in the individual 
States — which under the Constitution it cannot do ; and a 
pledge that the Fugitive Slave Law should be carried out 
by the Northern States. Such a compromise might seem 
to make very small demand on the forbearance of the Re- 
publican party, which was now dominant. The repeal of the 
Missouri compromise had been to them a loss, and it might 
be said that its re-enactment would be a gain. But since 
that compromise had been repealed, vast territories south 
of the line in question had been added to the Union, and 
the re-enactment of that compromise would hand those vast 
regions over to absolute slavery, as had been done with 
Texas. This might be all very well for Mr. Crittenden in 
the slave State of Kentucky — for Mr. Crittenden, although 
a slave owner, desired to perpetuate the Union ; but it 
would not have been well for New England or for the 
"West. As for the second proposition, it is well understood 
that under the Constitution Congress cannot interfere in any 
way in the question of slavery in the individual States. 
Congress has no more constitutional power to abolish 
slavery in Maryland than she has to introduce it into Mas- 
sachusetts. No such pledge, therefore, was necessary on 
either side. But such a pledge given by the North and 
West would have acted as an additional tie upon them, 




binding them to the finality of a constitutional enactment to 
which, as was of course well known, they strongly object. 
There was no question of Congress interfering with slavery, 
with the purport of extending its area by special enactment, 
and therefore by such a pledge the North and West could 
gain nothing ; but the South would in prestige have gained 

But that third proposition as to the Fugitive Slave Law 
and the faithful execution of that law by the Northern and 
Western States would, if acceded to by Mr. Lincoln's party, 
have amounted to an unconditional surrender of everything. 
What ! Massachusetts and Connecticut carry out the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law ? Ohio carry out the Fugitive Slave Law 
after the "Dred Scott" decision and all its consequences? 
Mr. Crittenden might as well have asked Connecticut, Mas- 
sachusetts, and Ohio to introduce slavery within their own 
lands. The Fugitive Slave Law was then, as it is now, the 
law of the land ; it was the law of the United States as 
voted by Congress, and passed by the President, and acted 
on by the supreme judge of the United States Court. But 
it was a law to which no free State had submitted itself, or 
would submit itself. "What!" the English reader will 
say, " sundry States in the Union refuse to obey the laws 
of the Union — refuse to submit to the constitutional action 
of their own Congress?" Yes. Such has been the position 
of this country ! To such a dead lock has it been brought 
by the attempted but impossible amalgamation of North 
and South. Mr. Crittenden's compromise was moonshine. 
It was utterly out of the question that the free States should 
bind themselves to the rendition of escaped slaves, or that 
Mr. Lincoln, who had just been brought in by their voices, 
should agree to any compromise which should attempt so to 
bind them. Lord Palmerston might as well attempt to re- 
enact the Corn Laws. 

Then comes the question whether Mr. Lincoln or his gov- 
ernment could have prevented the war after he had entered 
upon his office in March, 1861 ? I do not suppose that any 
one thinks that he could have avoided secession and avoided 
the war also ; that by any ordinary effort of government he 
could have secured the adhesion of the Gulf States to the 
Union after the first shot had been fired at Fort Sumter. 
The general opinion in England is, I take it, this — that se- 
cession then was manifestly necessary, and that all the blood- 



slied and money-shed, and all this destruction of commerce 
and of agriculture might have been prevented by a graceful 
adhesion to an indisputable fact. But there are some facts, 
even some indisputable facts, to which a graceful adherence 
is not possible. Could King Bomba have welcomed Gari- 
baldi to Naples? Can the Pope shake hands with Victor 
Emmanuel ? Could the English have surrendered to their 
rebel colonists peaceable possession of the colonies ? The 
indisputability of a fact is not very easily settled while the 
circumstances are in course of action by which the fact is 
to be decided. The men of the Northern States have not 
believed in the necessity of secession, but have believed it 
to be their duty to enforce the adherence of these States to 
the Union. The American governments have been much 
given to compromises, but had Mr. Lincoln attempted any 
compromise by which any one Southern State could have 
been let out of the Union, he would have been impeached. 
In all probability the whole Constitution would have gone 
to ruin, and the Presidency would have been at an end. At 
any rate, his Presidency would have been at an end. When 
secession, or in other words rebellion, was once commenced, 
he had no alternative but the use of coercive measures for 
putting it down — that is, he had no alternative but war. 
It is not to be supposed that he or his ministry contem- 
plated such a war as has existed — with 600,000 men in 
arras on one side, each man with his whole belongings main- 
tained at a cost of 150^. per annum, or ninety millions ster- 
ling per annum for the army. Nor did we when we resolved 
to put down the French revolution think of such a national 
debt as we now owe. These things grow by degrees, and 
the mind also grows in becoming used to them ; but I can- 
not see that there was any moment at which Mr. Lincoln 
could have stayed his hand and cried peace. It is easy to 
say now that acquiescence in secession would have been 
better than war, but there has been no moment when he 
could have said so with any avail. It was incumbent on 
him to put down rebellion, or to be put down by it. So it 
was with us in America in 1*176. 

I do not think that we in England have quite sufficiently 
taken all this into consideration. We have been in the 
habit of exclaiming very loudly against the war, execrating 
its cruelty and anathematizing its results, as though the 
crueltyAvere all superfluous and the results unnecessary. 



But I do not remember to have seen any statement as to 
what the Northern States should have done — what they 
should have done, thjat is, as regards the South, or when 
they should have done it. It seems to me that we have de- 
cided as regards them that civil war is a very bad thing, and 
that therefore civil war should be avoided. But bad things 
cannot always be avoided. It is this feeling on our part 
that has produced so much irritation in them against us — 
reproducing, of course, irritation on our part against them. 
They cannot understand that we should not wish them to be 
successful in putting down a rebellion; nor can we under- 
stand why they should be outrageous against us for stand- 
ing aloof, and keeping our hands, if it be only possible, out 
of the fire. 

When Slidell and Mason were arrested, my opinions were 
not changed, but my feelings were altered. I seemed to 
acknowledge to m3'self that the treatment to which England 
had been subjected, and the manner in which that treatment 
was discussed, made it necessary that I should regard the 
question as it existed between England and the States, rather 
than in its reference to the North and South. I had always 
felt that as regarded the action of our government we had 
been sans reproche; that in arranging our conduct we had 
thought neither of money nor political influence, but simply 
of the justice of the case — promising to abstain from all 
interference and keeping that promise faithfully. It had 
been quite clear to me that the men of the North, and the 
women also, had failed to appreciate this, looking, as men 
in a quarrel always do look, for special favor on their side. 
Everything that England did was wrong. If a private 
merchant, at his own risk, took a cargo of rifles to some 
Southern port, that act to Northern eyes was an act of 
English interference — of favor shown to the South by Eng- 
land as a nation; but twenty shiploads of rifles sent from 
England to the North merely signified a brisk trade and a 
desire for profit. The ''James Adger," a Northern man-of- 
war, was refitted at Southampton as a matter of course. 
There was no blame to England for that. But the Nash- 
ville, belonging to the Confederates, should not have been 
allowed into P^nglish waters. It was useless to speak of 
neutrality. No Northerner would understand that a rebel 
could have any mutual right. The South had no claim in 
his eyes as a belligerent, though the North claimed all those 


rights which he could only enjoy by the fact of there being 
a recognized war between him and his enemy the South. 
The North was learning to hate England, and day by day 
the feeling grew upon me that, much as I wished to espouse 
the cause of the North, I should have to espouse the cause 
of my own country. Then Slidell and Mason were ar- 
rested, and I began to calculate how long I might remain 
in the country. "There is no danger. We are quite 
right," the lawyers said. "There are Yattel, and Puffen- 
dorflf, and Stowell, and Phillimore, and Wheaton," said the 
ladies. "Ambassadors are contraband all the world over — 
more so than gunpowder; and if taken in a neutral bot- 
tom," etc. I wonder why ships are always called bottoms 
when spoken of with legal technicality? But neither the 
lawyers nor the ladies convinced me. I know that there 
are matters which will be read not in accordance with any 
written law, but in accordance with the bias of the reader's 
mind. Such laws are made to be strained any way. I 
knew how it would be. All the legal acumen of New Eng- 
land declared the seizure of Slidell and Mason to be right. 
The legal acumen of Old England has declared it to be 
wrong ; and I have no doubt that the ladies of Old England 
can prove it to be wrong out of Yattel, Puffendorfif, Stowell, 
Phillimore, and Wheaton. 

"But there's Grotius," I said, to an elderly female at 
New York, who had quoted to me some half dozen writers 
on international law, thinking thereby that I should trump 
her last card. "I've looked into Grotius too," said she, 
"and as far as I can see," etc. etc. etc. So I had to fall 
back again on the convictions to which instinct and com- 
mon sense had brought me. I never doubted for a moment 
that those convictions would be supported by English 

I left Boston with a sad feeling at my heart that a quar- 
rel was imminent between England and the States, and 
that any such quarrel must be destructive to the cause of 
the North. I had never believed that the States of New 
England and the Gulf States would again become parts of 
one nation, but I had thought that the terms of separation 
would be dictated by the North, and not by the South. I 
had felt assured that South Carolina and the Gulf States, 
across from the Atlantic to Texas, would succeed in form- 
ing themselves into a separate confederation; but I had 




still hoped that Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Mis- 
souri might be saved to the grander empire of the North, 
and that thus a great blow to slavery might be the con- 
sequence of this civil war. But such ascendency could 
only fall to the North by reason of their command of the 
sea. The Northern ports were all open, and the Southern 
ports were all closed. But if this should be reversed. If 
by England's action the Southern ports should be opened, 
and the Northern ports closed, the North could have no 
fair expectation of success. The ascendency in that case 
would all be with the South. Up to that moment — the 
Christmas of 1861 — Maryland was kept in subjection by the 
guns which General Dix had planted over the City of Balti- 
more.- Two-thirds of "Virginia were in active rebellion, 
coerced originally into that position by her dependence for 
the sale of her slaves on the cotton States. Kentucky was 
doubtful, and divided. When the Federal troops prevailed, 
Kentucky was loyal; when the Confederate troops pre- 
vailed, Kentucky was rebellious. The condition in Mis- 
souri was much the same. These four States, by two of 
which the capital, with its District of Columbia, is sur- 
rounded, might be gained or might be lost. And these 
four States are susceptible of white labor — as much so as 
Ohio and Illinois — are rich in fertility, and rich also in all 
associations which must be dear to Americans. Without 
Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky, without the Potomac, 
the Chesapeake, and Mount Vernon, the North would in- 
deed be shorn of its glory ! But it seemed to be in the 
power of the North to say under what terms secession 
should take place, and where should be the line. A Senator 
from South Carolina could never again sit in the same 
chamber with one from Massachusetts ; but there need be 
no such bar against the border States. So much might at 
any rate be gained, and might stand hereafter as the pro- 
duct of all that money spent on 600,000 soldiers. But if 
the Northerners should now elect to throw themselves into 
a quarrel with England, if in the gratification of a shame- 
less braggadocio they should insist on doing what they 
liked, not only with their own, but with the property of all 
others also, it certainly did seem as though utter ruin must 
await their cause. With England, or one might say with 
Europe, against them, secession must be accomplished, not 
on Northern terms, but on terms dictated by the South. 



The choice was then for them to make ; and jnst at that 
time it seemed as though they were resolved to throw away 
every good card out of their liand. Such had been the 
ministerial wisdom of Mr. Seward. I remember hearing 
the matter discussed in easy terms by one of the United 
States Senators. ''Remember, Mr. Trollope," he said to 
me, "we don't want a war with England. If the clioice is 
given to us, we had rather not fight England. Fighting is 
a bad thing. But remember this also, Mr. Trollope, that 
if the matter is pressed on us, we have no great objection. 
We had rather not, but we don't care much one way or the 
other." What one individual may say to another is not of 
much moment, but tiiis Senator was expressing the feelings 
of his constituents, who were the legislature of the State 
from whence he came. He was expressing the general idea 
on the subject of a large body of Americans. It was not 
that he and his State had really no objection to the war. 
Such a war loomed terribly large before the minds of them 
all. They know it to be fraught with the saddest con- 
sequences. It was so regarded in the mind of that Sen- 
ator. But the braggadocio could not be omitted. Had he 
omitted it, he would have been untrue to his constituency. 

When I left Boston for Washington, nothing was as yet 
known of what the English government or the English 
lawyers might say. This was in the first week in Decem- 
ber, and the expected voice from England could not be 
heard till the end of the second week. It was a period of 
great suspense, and of great sorrow also to the more sober- 
minded Americans. To me the idea of such a war was 
terrible. It seemed that in these days all the hopes of our 
youth were being shattered. That poetic turning of the 
sword into a sickle, which gladdened our hearts ten or 
twelve years since, had been clean banished from men's 
minds. To belong to a peace party was to be either a 
fanatic, an idiot, or a driveler. The arts of war had be- 
come everything. Armstrong guns, themselves indestruct- 
ible but capable of destroying everything within sight, 
and most things out of sight, were the only recognized re- 
sults of man's inventive faculties. To build bigger, stronger, 
and more ships than the French was England's glory. To 
hit a speck with a rifle bullet at 800 yards distance was an 
Englishman's first duty. The proper use for a young man's 
leisure hours was the practice of drilling. All this had 



come upon us with very quick steps since the beginning of 
the Russian war. But if fighting must needs be done, one 
did not feel special grief at fighting a Russian. That the 
Indian mutiny should be put down was a matter of course. 
That those Chinese rascals should be forced into the har- 
ness of civilization was a good thing. That England should 
be as strong as France — or, perhaps, if possible a little 
stronger — recommended itself to an Englishman's mind as 
a State necessity., But a war with the States of America ! 
In thinking of it I began to believe that the world was 
going backward. Over sixty millions sterling of stock — 
railway stock and such like — are held in America by Eng- 
lishmen, and the chances would be that before such a war 
could be finished the whole of that would be confiscated. 
Family connections between the States and the British isles 
are almost as close as between one of those islands and 
another. The commercial intercourse between the two 
countries has given bread to millions of Englishmen, and a 
break in it would rob millions of their bread. These peo- 
ple speak our language, use our prayers, read our books, 
are ruled by our laws, dress themselves in our image, are 
warm with our blood. They have all our virtues; and their 
vices are our own too, loudly as we call out against them. 
They are our sons and our daughters, the source of our 
greatest pride, and as we grow old they should be the staff 
of our age. Such a war as we should now wage with the 
States would be an unloosing of hell upon all that is best 
upon the world's surface. If in such a war we beat the 
Americans, they with their proud stomachs would never 
forgive us. If they should be victors, we should never 
forgive ourselves. I certainly could not bring myself to 
speak of it with the equanimity of ray friend the Senator. 

I went through New York to Philadelphia, and made a 
short visit to the latter town. Philadelphia seems to me to 
have thrown off its Quaker garb, and to present itself to 
the world in the garments ordinarily assumed by large cities 
— by which I intend to express my opinion that the Phila- 
delphians are not, in these latter days, any better than their 
neighbors. I am not sure whether in some respects they 
may not perhaps be worse. Quakers — Quakers absolutely 
in the very flesh of close bonnets and brown knee-breeches 
— are still to be seen there ; but they are not numerous, 
and would not strike the eye if one did not specially look 



for a Quaker at Philadelphia. It is a large town, with a 
very large hotel — there are no doubt half a dozen large ho- 
tels, but one of them is specially great — with long, straight 
streets, good shops and markets, and decent, comfortable- 
looking houses. The houses of Philadelphia generally are 
not so large as those of other great cities in the States. 
They are more modest than those of New York, and less 
commodious than those of Boston. Their most striking 
appendage is the marble steps at the front doors. Two 
doors, as a rule, enjoy one set of steps, on the outer edges 
of which there is generally no parapet or raised curb- stone. 
This, to my eye, gave the houses an unfinished appearance 
— as though the marble ran short, and no further expendi- 
ture could be made. The frost came when I was there, and 
then all these steps were covered up in wooden cases. 

The City of Philadelphia lies between the two rivers, the 
Delaware and the Schuylkill. Eight chief streets run from 
river to river, and twenty-four principal cross-streets bi- 
sect the eight at right angles. The cross-streets are all 
called by their numbers. In the long streets the num- 
bers of the houses are not consecutive, but follow the 
numbers of the cross-streets ; so that a person living on 
Chestnut Street between Tenth Street and Eleventh Street, 
and ten doors from Tenth Street, would live at No. 1010. 
The opposite house would be No. 1011. It thus follows 
that the number of the house indicates the exact block of 
houses in which it is situated, I do not like the right-an- 
gled building of these towns, nor do I like the sound of 
Twentieth Street and Thirtieth Street; but I must acknowl- 
edge that the arrangement in Philadelphia has its conveni- 
ence. In New York I found it by no means an easy thing 
to arrive at the desired locality. 

They boast in Philadelphia that they have half a million 
inhabitants. If this be taken as a true calculation, Phila- 
delphia is in size the fourth city in the world — putting out 
of the question the cities of China, as to which we have 
heard so much and believe so little. But in making this 
calculation the citizens include the population of a district 
on some sides ten miles distant from Philadelphia. It takes 
in other towns, connected with it by railway but separated 
by large spaces of open country. American cities are very 
proud of their population ; but if they all counted in this 



way, there would soon be no rural population left at all. 
There is a very fine bank at Philadelphia, and Philadelphia 
is a town somewhat celebrated in its banking history. My 
remarks here, however, apply simply to the external build- 
ing, and not to its internal honesty and wisdom, or to its 
commercial credit. 

In Philadelphia also stands the old house of Congress — 
the house in which the Congress of the United States was 
held previous to 1800, when the government and the Con- 
gress with it were moved to the new City of Washington. 
I believe, however, that the first Congress, properly so called, 
was assembled at New York in 1T89, the date of the inau- 
guration of the first President. It was, however, here in 
this building at Philadelphia that the independence of the 
Union was declared in 1776, and that the Constitution of 
the United States was framed. 

Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia for its capital, was once 
the leading State of the Union, leading by a long distance. 
At the end of the last century it beat all the other States 
in population, but has since been surpassed by New York 
in all respects — in population, commerce, wealth, and gen- 
eral activity. Of course it is known that Pennsylvania was 
granted to William Penn, the Quaker, by Charles II. I 
cannot completely understand what was the meaning of 
such grants — how far they implied absolute possession in 
the territory, or how far they confirmed simply the power 
of settling and governing a colony. In this case a very 
considerable property was confirmed ; as the claim made 
by Penn's children, after Penn's death, was bought up by 
the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 130,000/., which, in 
those days, was a large price for almost any landed estate 
on the other side of the Atlantic. 

Pennsylvania lies directly on the borders of slave land, be- 
ing immediately north of Maryland. Mason and Dixon's line, 
of which we hear so often, and which was first established 
as the division between slave soil and free soil, runs between 
Pennsylvania and Maryland. The little State of Delaware, 
which lies between Maryland and the Atlantic, is also tainted 
with slavery, but the stain is not heavy nor indelible. In a 
population of a hundred and twelve thousand, there are not 
two thousand slaves, and of these the owners generally would 
willingly rid themselves if they could. It is, however, a 



point of honor with these owners, as it is also in Maryland, 
not to sell their slaves ; and a man who cannot sell his slaves 
must keep them. Were he to enfranchise them and send 
them about their business, they would come back upon his 
hands. Were he to enfranchise them and pay them wages 
for work, they would get the wages, but he would not get 
the work. They would get the wages ; but at the end of 
three months they would still fall back upon his hands in 
debt and distress, looking to him for aid and comfort as a 
child looks for it. It is not easy to get rid of a slave in a 
slave State. That question of enfranchising slaves is not 
one to be very readily solved. 

In Pennsylvania the right of voting is confined to , free 
white men. In New York the colored free men have the 
right to vote, providing they have a certain small property 
qualification, and have been citizens for three years in the 
State, whereas a white man need have been a citizen but for 
ten days, and need have no property qualification — from 
which it is seen that the position of the negro becomes 
worse, or less like that of a white man, as the border of 
slave land is more nearly reached. But, in the teeth of this 
embargo on colored men, the constitution of Pennsylvania 
asserts broadly that all men are born equally free and inde- 
pendent. One cannot conceive how two clauses can have 
found their way into the same document so absolutely con- 
tradictory to each other. The first clause says that white 
men shall vote, and that black men shall not — which means 
that all political action shall be confined to white men. 
The second clause says that all men are born equally free 
and independent. 

In Philadelphia I for the first time came across live seces- 
sionists — secessionists who pronounced themselves to be 
such. I will not say that I had met in other cities men 
who falsely declared themselves true to the Union ; but I 
had fancied, in regard to some, that their words were a little 
stronger than their feelings. When a man's bread — and, 
much more, when the bread of his wife and children — de- 
pends on his professing a certain line of political convic- 
tion, it is very hard for him to deny his assent to the truth 
of the argument. One feels that a man, under such circum- 
stances, is bound to be convinced, unless he be in a position 
which may make a stanch adherence to opposite politics a 
matter of grave public importance. In the North I had 



fancied that I could sometimes read a secessionist tendency 
under a cloud of Unionist protestations. But in Philadel- 
phia men did not seem to think it necessary to have recourse 
to such a cloud. I generally found, in mixed society, that 
even there the discussion of secession was not permitted ; 
but in society that was not mixed I heard very strong opin- 
ions expressed on each side. With the Unionists nothing 
was so strong as the necessity of keeping of Slidell and 
Mason ; when I suggested that the English government 
would probably require their surrender, I was talked down 
and ridiculed. ''Never that — come what may." Then, 
within half an hour, I would be told by a secessionist that 
England must demand reparation if she meant to retain any 
place among the great nations of the world ; but he also 
would declare that the men would not be surrendered. 
" She must make the demand," the secessionists would say, 
" and then there will be war ; and after that we shall see 
whose ports will be blockaded !" The Southerner has ever 
looked to England for some breach of the blockade quite 
as strongly as the North has looked to England for sympa- 
thy and aid in keeping it. 

The railway from Philadelphia to Baltimore passes along 
the top of Chesapeake Bay and across the Susquehanna 
River; at least the railway cars do so. On one side of 
that river they are run on to a huge ferry-boat, and are 
again run off at the other side. Such an operation would 
seem to be one of difficulty to us under any circumstances; 
but as the Susquehanna is a tidal river, rising and falling 
a considerable number of feet, the natural impediment in 
the way of such an enterprise would, I think, have stag- 
gered us. We should have built a bridge costing two or 
three millions sterling, on which no conceivable amount of 
traffic would pay a fair dividend. Here, in crossing the 
Susquehanna, the boat is so constructed that its deck shall 
be level with the line of the railway at half tide, so that the 
inclined plane from the shore down to the boat, or from the 
shore up to the boat, shall never exceed half the amount 
of the rise or fall. One would suppose that the most in- 
tricate machinery would have been necessary for such an 
arrangement; but it was all rough and simple, and ap- 
parently managed by two negroes. We would employ a 
small corps of engineers to conduct such an operation, and 
men and women would be detained in their carriages under 



all manner of threats as to the peril of life and limb; but 
here everybody was expected to look out for himself. The 
cars were dragged up the inclined plane by a hawser at- 
tached to an engine, which hawser, had the stress broken 
it, as I could not but fancy probable, would have flown 
back and cut to pieces a lot of us who were standing in 
front of the car. But I do not think that any such acci- 
dent would have caused very much attention. Life and 
limbs are not held to be so precious here as they are in Eng- 
land. It may be a question whether with us they are not 
almost too precious. Regarding railways in America gen- 
erally, as to the relative safety of which, when compared 
with our own, we have not in England a high opinion, I 
must say that I never saw any accident or in any way be- 
came conversant with one. It is said that large numbers 
of men and women are slaughtered from time to time on 
different lines ; but if it be so, the newspapers make very 
light of such cases. I myself have seen no such slaughter, 
nor have I even found myself in the vicinity of a broken 
bone. Beyond the Susquehanna we passed over a creek 
of Chesapeake Bay on a long bridge. The whole scenery 
here is very pretty, and the view up the Susquehanna is 
fine. This is the bay which divides the State of Maryland 
into two parts, and which is blessed beyond all other bays 
by the possession of canvas-back ducks. Nature has done 
a great deal for the State of Maryland, but in nothing more 
than in sending thither these webfooted birds of Paradise. 

Nature has done a great deal for Maryland ; and Fortune 
also has done much for it in these latter days in directing 
the war from its territory. But for the peculiar position 
of Washington as the capital, all that is now being done in 
Yirgiuia would have been done in Maryland, and I must 
say that the Marylanders did their best to bring about such 
a result. Had the presence of the war been regarded by 
the men of Baltimore as an unalloyed benefit, they could 
not have made a greater struggle to bring it close to them. 
Nevertheless fate has so far spared them. 

As the position of Maryland and the course of events as 
they took place in Baltimore on the commencement of 
secession had considerable influence both in the North and 
in the South, 1 will endeavor to explain how that State was 
affected, and how the question was affected by that State. 
Maryland, as I have said before, is a slave State lying im- 




mediately south of Mason and Dixon's line. Small por- 
tions both of Virginia and of Delaware do run north of 
Maryland, but practically Maryland is the frontier State of 
the slave States. It was therefore of much importance to 
know which way Maryland would go in the event of seces- 
sion among the slave States becoming general ; and of much 
also to ascertain whether it could secede if desirous of doing 
so. I am inclined to think that as a State it was desirous 
of following Virginia, though there are many in Maryland 
who deny this very stoutly. But it was at once evident 
that if loyalty to the North could not be had in Maryland 
of its own free will, adherence to the North must be enforced 
upon Maryland. Otherwise the City of Washington could 
not be maintained as the existing capital of the nation. 

The question of the fidelity of the State to the Union 
was first tried by the arrival at Baltimore of a certain Com- 
missioner from the State of Mississippi, who visited that 
city with the object of inducing secession. It must be 
understood that Baltimore is the commercial capital of 
Maryland, whereas Annapolis is the seat of government 
and the legislature — or is, in other terms, the political 
capital. Baltimore is a city containing 230,000 inhabit- 
ants, and is considered to have as strong and perhaps as 
violent a mob as any city in the Union. Of the above 
number 30,000 are negroes and 2000 are slaves. The 
Commissioner made his appeal, telling his tale of Southern 
grievances, declaring, among other things, that secession 
was not intended to break up the government but to per- 
petuate it, and asked for the assistance and sympathy of 
Maryland. This was in December, 1860. The Commis- 
sioner was answered by Governor Hicks, who was placed 
in a somewhat difficult position. The existing legislature 
of the State was presumed to be secessionist, but the legis- 
lature was not sitting, nor in the ordinary course of things 
would that legislature have been called on to sit again. 
The legislature of Maryland is elected every other year, 
and in the ordinary course sits only once in the two years. 
That session had been held, and the existing legislature 
was therefore exempt from further work — unless specially 
summoned for an extraordinary session. To do this is 
within the power of the Governor. But Governor Hicks, 
who seems to have been mainly anxious to keep things 
quiet, and whose individual politics did not come out 



strongly, was not inclined to issue the summons. "Let us 
show moderation as well as firmness," he said; and that 
was about all he did say to the Commissioner from Missis- 
sippi. The Governor after that was directly called on to 
convene the legislature; but this he refused to do, alleging 
that it would not be safe to trust the discussion of such a 
subject as secession to "excited politicians, many of whom, 
having nothing to lose from the destruction of the. govern- 
ment, may hope to derive some gain from the ruin of the 
State !" I quote these words, coming from the head of the 
executive of the State and spoken with reference to the 
legislature of the State, with the object of showing in Avhat 
light the political leaders of a State may be held in that 
very State to which they belong. If we are to judge of 
these legislators from the opinion expressed by Governor 
Hicks, they could hardly have been fit for their places. 
That plan of governing by the little men has certainly not 
answered. It need hardly be said that Governor Hicks, 
having expressed such an opiniou of his State's legislature, 
refused to call them to an extraordinary session. 

On the 18th of April, 1860, Governor Hicks issued a 
proclamation to the people of Maryland, begging them to 
be quiet, the chief object of which, however, was that of 
promising that no troops should be sent from their State, 
unless with the object of guarding the neighboring City of 
AVashington — a promise which he had no means of fulfill- 
ing, seeing that the President of the United States is the 
commander-in-chief of the army of the nation, and can 
summon the militia of the several States. This proclama- 
tion by the Governor to the State was immediately backed 
up by one from the Mayor of Baltimore to the city, in which 
he congratulates the citizens on the Governor's promise that 
none of their troops are to be sent to another State; and 
then he tells them that they shall be preserved from the 
horrors of civil war. 

But on the very next day the horrors of civil war began 
in Baltimore. By this time President Lincoln was collect- 
ing troops at Washington for the protection of the capital; 
and that army of the Potomac, which has ever since occu- 
■pied the Virginian side of the river, was in course of con- 
struction. To join this, certain troops from Massachusetts 
were sent down by the usual route, via New York, Phila- 
delphia, and Baltimore; but on their reaching Baltimore 



by railway, the mob of that town refused to allow them to 
pass through, — and a fight began. Nine citizens were 
killed and two soldiers, and as many more were wounded. 
This, I think, was the first blood spilt in the civil war; 
and the attack was first made by the mob of the first slave 
city reached by the Northern soldiers. This goes far to 
show, not that the border States desired secession, but that, 
when compelled to choose between secession and Union, 
when not allowed by circumstances to remain neutral, their 
sympathies were with their sister slave States rather than 
with the North. 

Then there was a great running about of ofiBcial men be- 
tween Baltimore and Washington, and the President was 
besieged with entreaties that no troops should be sent 
through Baltimore. Now this was hard enough upon 
President Lincoln, seeing that he was bound to defend his 
capital, that he could get no troops from the South, and 
that Baltimore is on the high-road from Washington both 
to the West and to the North; but, nevertheless, he gave 
way. Had he not done so, all Baltimore would have been 
in a blaze of rebellion, and the scene of the coming contest 
must have been removed from Virginia to Maryland, and 
Congress and the government must have traveled from 
Washington north to Philadelphia. "They shall not come 
through Baltimore," said Mr. Lincoln. "But they shall 
come through the State of Maryland. They shall be passed 
over Chesapeake Bay by water to Annapolis, and shall 
come up by rail from thence." This arrangement was as 
distasteful to the State of Maryland as the other; but 
Annapolis is a small town without a mob, and the Mary- 
landers had no means of preventing the passage of the 
troops. Attempts were made to refuse the use of the 
Annapolis branch railway, but General Butler had the 
arranging of that. General Butler was a lawyer from 
Boston, and by no means inclined to indulge the scruples 
of the Marylanders who had so roughly treated his fellow- 
citizens from Massachusetts. The troops did therefore pass 
by Annapolis, much to the disgust of the State. On the 
2Tth of April, Governor Hicks, having now had a sufficiency 
of individual responsibility, summoned the legislature of 
which he had expressed so bad an opinion ; but on this 
occasion he omitted to repeat that opinion, and submitted 
his views in very proper terms to the wisdom of the sena- 



tors and representatives. He entertains, as he says, an 
honest conviction that the safety of Maryland lies in pre- 
serving a neutral position between the North and the South. 
Certainly, Governor Hicks, if it v/ere only possible ! The 
legislature again went to work to prevent, if it might be 
prevented, the passage of troops through their State; but 
luckily for them, they failed. The President was bound to 
defend Washington, and the Marylanders were denied their 
wish of having their own fields made the fighting ground 
of the civil war. 

That which appears to me to be the most remarkable 
feature in all this is the antagonism between United States 
law and individual State feeling. Through the whole pro- 
ceeding the Governor and the State of Maryland seemed to 
have considered it quite reasonable to oppose the constitu- 
tional power of the President and his government. It is 
argued in all the speeches and written documents that were 
produced in Maryland at the time, that Maryland was true 
to the Union ; and yet she put herself in opposition to the 
constitutional military power of the President. Certain 
Commissioners went from the State legislature to Washing- 
ton in May, and from their report it appears that the Presi- 
dent had expressed himself of opinion that Maryland might 
do this or that "as long as she had not taken and was not 
about to take a hostile attitude to the Federal govern- 
ment !" From which we are to gather that a denial of that 
military power given to the President by the Constitution 
was not considered as an attitude hostile to the Federal 
government. At any rate, it was direct disobedience to 
Federal law. I cannot but revert from this to the condi- 
tion of the Fugitive Slave Law. Federal law, and indeed 
the original constitution, plainly declare that fugitive slaves 
shall be given up by the free-soil States. Massa^-husetts 
proclaims herself to be specially a Federal law-loving State. 
But every man in Massachusetts knows that no judge, 
no sheriff, no magistrate, no policeman in that State 
would at this time, or then, when that civil war was begin- 
ning, have lent a hand in any way to the rendition of a 
fugitive slave. The Federal law requires the State to give 
up the fugitive, but the State law docs not require judge, 
sheriff, magistrate, or policeman to engage in such work, 
and no judge, sheriff, or magistrate will do so ; consequently 
that Federal law is dead in Massachusetts, as it is also in 




every free-soil State, — dead, except in as much as there 
was life in it to create ill blood as long as the North and 
South remained together, and would be life in it for the same 
effect if they should again be brought under the same 

On the 10th of May, the Maryland legislature, having re- 
ceived the report of their Commissioners above mentioned, 
passed the following resolution : — 

" Whereas, the war against the Confederate States is un- 
constitutional and repugnant to civilization, and will result 
in a bloody and shameful overthrow of our constitution, and 
while recognizing the obligations of Maryland to the Union, 
we sympathize with the South in the struggle for their rights ; 
for the sake of humanity we are for peace and reconciliation, 
and solemnly protest against this war, and will take no part 
in it. 

''Resolved, That Maryland implores the President, in the 
name of God, to cease this unholy war, at least until Con- 
gress assembles" — a period of above six months. "That 
Maryland desires and consents to the recognition of the in- 
dependence of the Confederate States. The military oc- 
cupation of Maryland is unconstitutional, and she protests 
against it, though the violent interference with the transit 
of the Federal troops is discountenanced. That the vindi- 
cation of her rights be left to time and reason, and that 
a convention under existing circumstances is inexpedient." 
From which it is plain that Maryland would have seceded 
as effectually as Georgia seceded, had she not been pre- 
vented by the interposition of Washington between her and 
the Confederate States — the happy intervention, seeing that 
she has thus been saved from becoming the battle-ground 
of the contest. But the legislature had to pay for its rash- 
ness. On the 13th of September thirteen of its members 
were arrested, as were also two editors of newspapers pre- 
sumed to be secessionists. A member of Congress was also 
arrested at the same time, and a candidate for Governor 
Hicks's place, who belonged to the secessionist party. Pre- 
viously, in the last days of June and beginning of July, the 
chief of the police at Baltimore and the members of the 
Board of Police had been arrested by General Banks, who 
then held Baltimore in his power. 

I should be sorry to be construed as saying that republi- 
can institutions, or what m^ay more properly be called dem- 



ocratic institutions, have been broken down in the States of 
America. I am far from thinking that they have broken 
down. Taking them and their work as a whole, I think 
that they have shown and still show vitality of the best 
order. But the written Constitution of the United States 
and of the several States, as bearing upon each other, are 
not equal to the requirements made upon them. That, I 
think, is the conclusion to which a spectator should come. 
It is in that doctrine of finality that our friends have broken 
down — a doctrine not expressed in their constitutions, and 
indeed expressly denied in the Constitution of the United 
States, which provides the mode in which amendments shall 
be made — but appearing plainly enough in every word of 
self-gratulation which comes from them. Political finality 
has ever proved a delusion — as has the idea of finality in all 
human institutions. I do not doubt but that the republican 
form of government will remain and make progress in North 
America, but such prolonged existence and progress must 
be based on an acknowledgment of the necessity for change, 
and must much depend on the facilities for change which 
shall be afforded. 

I have described the condition of Baltimore as it was 
early in May, 1861. I reached that city just seven months 
later, and its condition was considerably altered. There 
was no question then whether troops should pass through 
Baltimore, or by an awkward round through Annapolis, or 
not pass at all through Maryland. General Dix, who had 
succeeded General Banks, was holding the city in his grip, 
and martial law prevailed. In such times as those, it 
was bootless to inquire as to that promise that no troops 
should pass southward through Baltimore. What have 
such assurances ever been worth in such days ? Balti- 
more was now a military depot in the hands of the 
Northern army, and General Dix was not a man to stand 
any trifling. He did me the honor to take me to the top 
of Federal Hill, a suburb of the city, on which he had raised 
great earthworks and planted mighty cannons, and built 
tents and barracks for his soldiery, and to show me how in- 
stantaneously he could destroy the town from his exalted 
position. "This hill was made for the very purpose,'^ said 
General Dix ; and no doubt he thought so. Generals, when 
they have fine positions and big guns and prostrate people 
lying under their thumbs, are inclined to think that God's 



providence has specially ordaiued them and their points of 
vantage. It is a good thing in the mind of a general so 
circumstanced that 200,000 men should be made subject to 
a dozen big guns. I confess that to me, having had no 
military education, the matter appeared in a different light, 
and I could not work up my enthusiasm to a pitch which 
would have been suitable to the general's courtesy. That 
hill, on which many of the poor of Baltimore had lived, was 
desecrated in my eyes by those columbiads. The neat earth- 
works were ugly, as looked upon by me ; and though I re- 
garded General Dix as energetic, and no doubt skillful in 
the work assigned to him, I could not sympathize with his 

Previously to the days of secession Baltimore had been 
guarded by Fort McHenry, which lies on a spit of land 
running out into the bay just below the town. Hither I 
went with General Dix, and he explained to me how the 
cannon had heretofore been pointed solely toward the sea; 
that, however, now was all changed, and the mouths of his 
bombs and great artillery were turned all the other way. 
The commandant of the fort was with us, and other officers, 
and they all spoke of this martial tenure as a great blessing. 
Hearing them, one could hardly fail to suppose that they 
had lived their forty, fifty, or sixty years of life in full reli- 
ance on the powers of a military despotism. But not the 
less were they American republicans, who, twelve months 
since, would have dilated on the all-sufficiency of their repub- 
lican institutions, and on the absence of any military restraint 
in their country, with that peculiar pride which characterizes 
the citizens of the States. There are, however, some lessons 
which may be learned with singular rapidity ! 

Such was the state of Baltimore when I visited that city. 
I found, nevertheless, that cakes and ale still prevailed there. 
I am inclined to think that cakes and ale prevail most freely 
in times that are perilous, and when sources of sorrow 
abound. I have seen more reckless joviality in a town 
stricken by pestilence than I ever encountered elsewhere. 
There was General Dix seated on Federal Hill with his 
cannon; and there, beneath his artillery, were gentlemen 
hotly professing themselves to be secessionists, men whose 
sons and brothers were in the Southern army, and women, 
alas ! whose brothers would be in one army, and their sons 
in another. That was the part of it which was most heart- 



rending in this border land. In New England and New 
York men's minds at any rate were bent all in the same 
direction — as doubtless they were also in Georgia and Ala- 
bama. But here fathers were divided from sons, and mothers 
from daughters. Terrible tales were told of threats uttered 
by one member of a family against another. Old ties of 
friendship were broken up. Society had so divided itself 
that one side could hold no terms of courtesy with the other. 
"When this is over," one gentleman said to me, "every man 
in Baltimore will have a quarrel to the death on his hands 
with some friend whom he used to love." The complaints 
made on both sides were eager and open-mouthed against 
the other. 

Late in the autumn an election for a new legislature of 
the State had taken place, and the members returned were 
all supposed to be Unionists. That they were prepared to 
support the government is certain. But no known or pre- 
sumed secessionist was allowed to vote without first taking 
the oath of allegiance. The election, therefore, even if the 
numbers were true, cannot be looked upon as a free election. 
Yoters were stopped at the poll and not allowed to vote 
unless they would take an oath which would, on their parts, 
undoubtedly have been false. It was also declared in Balti- 
more that men engaged to promote the Northern party were 
permitted to vote five or six times over, and the enormous 
number of votes polled on the government side gave some 
coloring to the statement. At any rate, an election carried 
under General Dix's guns cannot be regarded as an open 
election. It was out of the question that any election taken 
under such circumstances should be worth anything as ex- 
pressing the minds of the people. Red and white had been 
declared to be the colors of the Confederates, and red and 
white had of course become the favorite colors of the Bal- 
timore ladies. Then it was given out that red and white 
would not be allowed in the streets. Ladies wearing red 
and white were requested to return home. Children deco- 
rated with red and white ribbons were stripped of their bits 
of finery — much to their infantile disgust and dismay. 
Ladies would put red and white ornaments in their windows, 
and the police would insist on the withdrawal of the colors. 
Such was the condition of Baltimore during the past winter. 
Nevertheless cakes and ale abounded ; and though there was 
deep grief in the city, and wailing in the recesses of many 



houses, and a feeling that the good times were gone, never 
to return within the days of many of them, still there ex- 
isted an excitement and a consciousness of the importance 
of the crisis which was not altogether unsatisfactory. Men 
and women can endure to be ruined, to be torn from their 
friends, to be overwhelmed with avalanches of misfortune, 
better than they can endure to be dull. 

Baltimore is, or at any rate was, an aspiring city, proud 
of its commerce and proud of its society. It has regarded 
itself as the New York of the South, and to some extent 
has forced others so to regard it also. In many respects it 
is more like an English town than most of its Transatlantic 
brethren, and the ways of its inhabitants are English. In 
old days a pack of fox hounds was kept here — or indeed in 
days that are not yet very old, for I was told of their doings 
by a gentleman who had long been a member of the hunt. 
The country looks as a hunting country should look, whereas 
no man that ever crossed a field after a pack of hounds would 
feel the slightest wish to attempt that process in New Eng- 
land or New York. There is in Baltimore an old inn with 
an old sign, standing at the corner of Eutaw and Franklin 
Streets, just such as may still be seen in the towns of Som- 
ersetshire, and before it there are to be seen old wagons, 
covered and soiled and battered, about to return from the 
city to the country, just as the wagons do in our own agri- 
cultural counties. I have seen nothing so thoroughly 
English in any other part of the Union. 

But canvas-back ducks and terrapins are the great glories 
of Baltimore. Of the nature of the former bird I believe 
all the world knows something. It is a wild duck which 
obtains the peculiarity of its flavor from the wild celery on 
which it feeds. This celery grows on the Chesapeake Bay, 
and I believe on the Chesapeake Bay only. At any rate, 
Baltimore is the headquarters of the canvas-backs, and it 
is on the Chesapeake Bay that they are shot. I was kindly 
invited to go down on a shooting-party; but when I learned 
that I should have to ensconce myself alone for hours in a 
wet wooden box on the water's edge, waiting there for the 
chance of a duck to come to me, I declined. The fact of 
my never having as yet been successful in shooting a bird 
of any kind conduced somewhat, perhaps, to my decision. 
I must acknowledge that the canvas-back duck fully deserves 
all the reputation it has acquired. As to the terrapin, I 



have not so much to say. The terrapin is a small turtle, 
found on the shores of Maryland and Virginia, out of which 
a very rich soup is made. It is cooked with wines and 
spices, and is served in the shape of a hash, with heaps of 
little bones mixed through it. It is held in great repute, and 
the guest is expected as a matter of course to be helped 
twice. The man who did not eat twice of terrapin would 
be held in small repute, as the Londoner is held who at a 
city banquet does not partake of both thick and thin turtle. 
I must, however, confess that the terrapin for me had no 
surpassing charms. 

Maryland was so called from Henrietta Maria, the wife 
of Charles I., by which king, in 1G32, the territory was con- 
ceded to the Roman Catholic Lord Baltimore. It was 
chiefly peopled by Roman Catholics, but I do not think that 
there is now any such specialty attaching to the State. 
There are in it two or three old Roman Catholic families, 
but the people have come down from the North, and have no 
peculiar religious tendencies. Some of Lord Baltimore's 
descendants remained in the State up to the time of the 
Revolution. From Baltimore I went on to Washington. 



N O E T I-I 

A M E E I C A. 










AVasliington 5 


Congress 30 


The Causes of the War 46 


Washington to St. Louis 6^ 


Missouri 91 


Cairo and Camp Wood 110 


The Army of the North 130 


Back to Boston 159 


The Constitution cf the United States 179 




The Government 219 


The Law Courts and Lawyers of the United States 234 


The Financial Position 245 


The Post-office 265 


American Hotels 281 


Literature 295 


Conclusion 308 




The site of the present City of Washington was chosen 
with three special views : firstly, that being on the Poto- 
mac it might have the full advantage of water-carriage and 
a sea-port; secondly, that it might be so far removed from 
the sea-board as to be safe from invasion ; and, thirdly, that 
it might be central alike to all the States. It was presumed, 
when Washington was founded, that these three advantages 
would be secured by the selected position. As regards the 
first, the Potomac affords to the city but few of the advant- 
ages of a sea-port. Ships can come up, but not ships of 
large burden. The river seems to have dwindled since the 
site was chosen, and at present it is, I think, evident that 
Washington can never be great in its shipping. Statio 
henefida carinis can never be its motto. As regards the 
second point, singularly enough Washington is the only city 
of the Union that has been in an enemy's possession since 
the United States became a nation. In the war of 1812 it 
fell into our hands, and we burned it. As regards the third 
point, Washington, from the lie of the land, can hardly have 
been said to be centrical at any time. Owing to the irregu- 
larities of the coast it is not easy of access by railways from 
different sides. Baltimore would have been far better. But 
as far as we can now see, and as well as we can now judge, 
Washington will soon be on the borders of the nation to 
which it belongs, instead of at its center. I fear, there- 
fore, that we must acknowledge that the site chosen for his 
country's capital by George Washington has not been for- 

I have a strong idea, which I expressed before in speak- 
ing of the capital of the Canadas, that no man can ordain 
VOL. n. — 1* (5) 



that oil such a spot shall be built a great and thriving city. 
No man can so ordain even though he leave behind him, as 
was the case with Washington, a prestige sufficient to bind 
his successors to his wishes. The political leaders of the 
country have done what they could for Washington. The 
pride of the nation has endeavored to sustain the character 
of its chosen metropolis. There has been no rival, solicit- 
ing favor on the strength of other charms. The country has 
all been agreed on the point since the father of the country 
first commenced the work. Florence aud Rome in Italy 
have each their pretensions; but in the States no other city 
has put itself forward for the honor of entertaining Con- 
gress. And yet Washington has been a failure. It is com- 
merce that makes great cities, and commerce has refused to 
back the general's choice. New York and Philadelphia., 
without any political power, have become great among the 
cities of the earth. They are beaten by none except by 
London and Paris. But Washington is but a ragged, un- 
finished collection of unbuilt broad streets, as to the com- 
pletion of which there can now, I imagine, be but little 

Of all places that I know it is the most ungainly and 
most unsatisfactory : I fear I must also say the most pre- 
sumptuous in its pretensions. There is a map of Wash- 
ington accurately laid down ; and taking that map with 
him in his journeyings, a man may lose himself in the 
streets, not as one loses one's self in London, between Shore- 
ditch and Russell Square, but as one does so in the deserts 
of the Holy Land, between Emmaus and Arimathea. In 
the first place no one knows where the places are, or is sure 
of tiieir existence, and then between their presumed local- 
ities the country is wild, trackless, unbridged, uninhabited, 
and desolate. Massachusetts Avenue runs the whole length 
of the city, and is inserted on the maps as a full-blown 
street, about four miles in length. Go there, and you will 
find yourself not only out of town, away among the fields, 
but you will find yourself beyond the fields, in an unculti- 
vated, undrained wilderness. Tucking your trowsers up to 
your knees you will wade through the bogs, you will lose 
yourself among rude hillocks, you will be out of the reach 
of humanity. The unfinished dome of the Capitol will 
loom before you in the distance, and you will think that you 
approach the ruins of some western Palmyra. If you are 


a sportsman, you will desire to slioot snipe within sight of 
the President's house. There is much unsettled land within 
the States of America, but I think none so desolate in its 
state of nature as three-fourths of the ground on which is 
supposed to stand the City of Washington. 

The City of Washington is something more than four 
miles long, and is something more than two miles broad. 
The land apportioned to it is nearly as compact as may be, 
and it exceeds in area the size of a parallelogram four miles 
long by two broad. These dimensions are adequate for a 
noble city, for a city to contain a million of inhabitants. 
It is impossible to state with accuracy the actual population 
of Washington, for it fluctuates exceedingly. The place 
is very full during Congress, and very empty during the re- 
cess. By which I mean it to be understood that those 
streets which are blessed with houses are full when Con- 
gress meets. I do not think that Congress makes much 
difference to Massachusetts Avenue. I believe that the 
city never contains as many as eighty thousand, and that its 
permanent residents are less than sixty thousand. 

But, it will be said, was it not well to prepare for a 
growing city ? Is it not true that London is choked by 
its own fatness, not having been endowed at its birth or 
during its growth with proper means for accommodating 
its own increasing proportions? Was it not well to lay 
down fine avenues and broad streets, so that future citizens 
might find a city well prepared to their hand ? 

There is no doubt much in such an argument, but its 
correctness must be tested by its success. When a man 
marries it is well that he should make provision for a com- 
ing family. But a Benedict, who early in his career shall 
have carried his friends with considerable self-applause 
through half a dozen nurseries, and at the end of twelve 
years shall still be the father of one rickety baby, will in- 
cur a certain amount of ridicule. It is very well to be 
prepared for good fortune, but one should limit one's prep- 
aration within a reasonable scope. Two miles by one 
might, perhaps, have done for the skeleton sketch of a new 
city. Less than half that would contain much more than 
the present population of Washington ; and there are, I 
fear, few towns in the Union so little likely to enjoy any 
speedy increase. 

Three avenues sweep the whole length of Washington : 



Tirginia Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Massachusetts 
Avenue. But Pennsylvania Avenue is the only one known 
to ordinary men, and the half of that only is so known. 
This avenue is the backbone of the city, and those streets 
which are really inhabited cluster round that half of it 
which runs westward from the Capitol. The eastern end, 
running from the front of the Capitol, is again a desert. 
The plan of the city is somewhat complicated. It may 
truly be called "a mighty maze, but not without a plan." 
The Capitol was intended to be the center of the city. It 
faces eastward, away from the Potomac — or ratlier from the 
main branch of the Potomac, and also unfortunately from 
the main body of the town. It turns its back upon the 
chief tiioroughfare, upon the Treasury buildings, and upon 
the President's house, and, indeed, upon the whole place. 
It was, I suppose, intended that the streets to the eastward 
should be noble and populous, but hitherto they have come 
to nothing. The building, therefore, is wrong side fore- 
most, and all mankind who enter it, Senators, Representa- 
tives, and judges included, go in at the back door. Of 
course it is generally known that in the Capitol is the 
chamber of the Senate, that of the House of Represent- 
atives, and the Supreme Judicial Court of the Union. It 
may be said that there are two centers in Washington, this 
being one and the President's house the other. At these 
centers the main avenues are supposed to cross each other, 
which avenues are called by the names of the respective 
States. At the Capitol, Pennsylvania Avenue, New Jer- 
sey Avenue, Delaware Avenue, and Maryland Avenue con- 
verge. They come from one extremity of the city to the 
square of the Capitol on one side, and run out from the 
other side of it to the other extremity of the city. Penn- 
sylvania Avenue, New York Avenue, Vermont Avenue, 
and Connecticut Avenue do the same at what is generally 
called President's Square. In theory, or on paper, this 
seems to be a clear and intelligible arrangement; but it 
does not work well. These center depots are large spaces, 
and consequently one portion of a street is removed a con- 
siderable distance from the other. It is as though the same 
name should be given to two streets, one of which entered 
St. James's Park at Backinghara Gate, while the other 
started from the Park at Marlborough House. To inhab- 
itants the matter probably is not of much moment, as it is 



well known tliat this portion of such an avenue and that 
portion of such another avenue are merely myths — unknown 
lands away in the wikls. But a stranger finds himself in 
the position of being sent across the country knee deep 
into the mud, wading through snipe grounds, looking for 
civilization where none exists. 

All these avenues have a slanting direction. They are 
so arranged that none of them run north and south, or 
east and west; but the streets, so called, all run in accord- 
ance with the points of the compass. Those from east to 
west are A Street, B Street, C Street, and so on — count- 
ing them away from the Capitol on each side, so that there 
are two A streets and two B streets. On the map these 
streets run up to Y Street, both right and left — Y Street 
North and Y Street South. Those really known to man- 
kind are E, F, G, H, I, and K Streets North. Then those 
streets which run from north to south are numbered First 
Street, Second Street, Third Street, and so on, on each 
front of the Capitol, running to Twenty-fourth or Twenty- 
fifth Street on each side. Not very many of these have 
any existence, or, I might perhaps more properly say, any 
vitality in their existence. 

Such is the plan of the city, that being the arrangement 
and those the dimensions intended by the original architects 
and founders of Washington ; but the inhabitants have 
hitherto confined themselves to Pennsylvania Avenue West, 
and to the streets abutting from it or near to it. Whatever 
address a stranger may receive, however perplexing it may 
seem to him, he may be sure that the house indicated is near 
Pennsylvania Avenue. If it be not, I should recommend 
him to pay no attention to the summons. Even in those 
streets with which he will become best acquainted, the 
houses are not continuous. There will be a house, and 
then a blank ; then two houses, and then a double blank. 
After that a hut or two, and then probably an excellent, 
roomy, handsome family mansion. Taken altogether, Wash- 
ington as a city is most unsatisfactory, and falls more griev- 
ously short of the thing attempted than any other of the 
great undertakings of which I have seen anything in the 
States. San Jose, the capital of the republic of Costa Rica, 
in Central America, has been prepared and arranged as a 
new city in the same way. But even San Jose comes nearer 
to what was intended than does Washington. 



For myself, I do not believe in cities made after this 
fashion. Commerce, I think, must select the site of all large 
congregations of mankind. In some mysterious way she 
ascertains what she wants, and having acquired that, draws 
men in thousands round her properties. Liverpool, New 
York, Lyons, Glasgow, Yenice, Marseilles, Hamburg, Cal- 
cutta, Chicago, and Leghorn have all become populous, 
and are or have been great, because trade found them to be 
convenient for its purposes. Trade seems to have ignored 
Washington altogether. Such being the case, the Legisla- 
ture and the Executive of the country together have been 
unable to make of Washington anything better than a strag- 
gling congregation of buildings in a wilderness. We are 
now trying the same experiment at Ottawa, in Canada, 
having turned our back upon Montreal in dudgeon. The 
site of Ottawa is more interesting than that of Washington, 
but I doubt whether the experiment will be more successful. 
A new town for art, fashion, and politics has been built at 
Munich, and there it seems to answer the expectation of the 
builders ; but at Munich there is an old city as well, and 
commerce had already got some considerable hold on the 
spot before the new town was added to it. 

The streets of Washington, such as exist, are all broad. 
Throughout the town there are open spaces — spaces, I 
mean, intended to be open by the plan laid down for the 
city. At the present moment it is almost all open space. 
There is also a certain nobility about the proposed dimen- 
sions of the avenues and squares. Desirous of praising it 
in some degree, I can say that the design is grand. The 
thing done, however, falls so infinitely short of that design, 
that nothing but disappointment is felt. And I fear that 
there is no look-out into the future which can justify a hope 
that the design will be fulfilled. It is therefore a melan- 
choly place. The society into which one falls there consists 
mostly of persons who are not permanently resident in the 
capital ; but of those who were permanent residents I found 
none who spoke of their city with alfection. The men and 
women of Boston think that the sun shines nowhere else ; 
and Boston Common is very pleasant. The New Yorkers 
believe in Fifth Avenue with an unswerving faith ; and 
Fifth Avenue is calculated to inspire a faith. Philadelphia 
to a Philadelphian is the center of the universe; and the 
progress of Philadelphia, perhaps, justifies the partiality. 



The same tiling may be said of Chicago, of Buffalo, and of 
Baltimore. But the same thing cannot be said in any de- 
gree of Washington. They who belong to it turn up their 
noses at it. They feel that they live surrounded by a failure. 
Its grand names are as yet false, and none of the efforts 
made have hitherto been successful. Even in winter, when 
Congress is sitting, Washington is melancholy; but W^ash- 
ington in summer must surely be the saddest spot on earth. 

There are six principal public buildings in Washington, 
as to which no expense seems to have been spared, and in 
the construction of which a certain amount of success has 
been obtained. In most of these this success has been more 
or less marred by an independent deviation from recognized 
rules of architectural taste. These are the Capitol, the 
Post-office, the Patent-office, the Treasury, the President's 
house, and the Smithsonian Institution. The five first are 
Grecian, and the last in Washington is called — Romanesque. 
Had I been left to classify it by my own unaided lights, I 
should have called it bastard Gothic. 

The Capitol is by far the most imposing ; and though 
there is much about it with which I cannot but find fault, it 
certainly is imposing. The present building was, I think, 
commenced in 1815, the former Capitol having been de- 
stroyed by the English in the war of 1812-13. It was then 
finished according to the original plan, with a fine portico 
and well proportioned pediment above it — looking to the 
east. The outer flight of steps, leading up to this from the 
eastern approach, is good and in excellent taste. The ex- 
panse of the building to the right and left, as then arranged, 
was well proportioned, and, as far as we can now judge, the 
then existing dome was well proportioned also. As seen 
from the east the original building must have been in itself 
very fine. The stone is beautiful, being bright almost as 
marble, and I do not know that there was any great arch- 
itectural defect to offend the eye. The figures in the pedi- 
ment are mean. There is now in the Capitol a group ap- 
parently prepared for a pediment, which is by no means 
mean. I was informed that they were intended for this 
position ; but they, on the other hand, are too good for 
such a place, and are also too numerous. This set of statues 
is by Crawford. Most of them are well known, and they are 
very fine. They now stand within the old chamber of the 
Representative House, and the pity is that, if elevated to 



such a position as that indicated, they can never be really 
seen. There are models of them all at West Point, and 
some of them I have seen at other places in marble. The 
Historical Society, at New York, has one or two of them. 
In and about the front of the Capitol there are other efforts 
of sculpture — imposing in their size, and assuming, if not 
affecting, much in the attitudes chosen. Statuary at Wash- 
ington runs too much on two subjects, which are repeated 
perhaps almost ad nauseam: one is that of a stiff, steady- 
looking, healthy, but ugly individual, with a square jaw and 
big jowl, which represents the great general ; he does not 
prepossess the beholder, because he appears to be thoroughly 
ill natured. And the other represents a melancholy, weak 
figure without any hair, but often covered with feathers, and 
is intended to typify the red Indian. The red Indian is 
generally supposed to be receiving comfort ; but it is mani- 
fest that he never enjoys the comfort ministered to him. 
There is a gigantic statue of Washington, by Greenough, 
out in the grounds in front of the building. The figure 
is seated and holding up one of its arms toward the city. 
There is about it a kind of weighty magnificence ; but it is 
stiff, ungainly, and altogether without life. 

But the front of the original building is certainly grand. 
The architect who designed it must have had skill, taste, 
and nobility of conception ; but even this is spoiled, or 
rather wasted, by the fact that the front is made to look 
upon nothing, and is turned from the city. It is as though 
thefagade of the London Post-office had been made to face 
the Goldsmiths' Hall. The Capitol stands upon the side of 
a hill, the front occupying a much higher position than the 
back ; consequently they who enter it from the back — and 
everybody does so enter it — are first called on to rise to the 
level of the lower floor by a stiff ascent of exterior steps, 
which are in no way grand or imposing, and then, having 
entered by a mean back door, are instantly obliged to ascend 
again by another flight — by stairs sufficiently appropriate to 
a back entrance, but altogether unfitted for the chief ap- 
proach to such a building. It may, of course, be said that 
persons who are particular in such matters should go in at 
the front door and not at the back ; but one must take these 
things as one finds them. The entrance by which the Cap- 
itol is approaclied is such as I have described. There are 
mean little brick chimneys at the left hand as one walks in, 



* attached to modern bakeries, which have been constructed 
in the basement for the use of the soldiers ; and there is on 
the other hand the road by which wagons find their way to 
the underground region with fuel, stationery, and other mat- 
ters desired by Senators and Jleprcsentatives, and at present 
by bakers also. 

In speaking of the front I have spoken of it as it was 
originally designed and built. Since that period very heavy 
wings have been added to the pile — wings so heavy that 
they are or seem to be much larger than the original struc- 
ture itself. This, to my thinking, has destroyed the sym- 
metry of the whole. The wings, which in themselves are ■ 
by no means devoid of beauty, are joined to the center by 
passages so narrow that from exterior points of view the 
light can be seen through them. This robs the mass of all 
oneness, of all entirety as a whole, and gives a scattered, 
straggling appearance, where there should be a look of mas- 
siveness and integrity. The dome also has been raised — a 
double drum having been given to it. This is unfinished, 
and should not therefore yet be judged ; but I cannot think 
that the increased height will be an improvement. This, 
again, to my eyes, appears to be straggling rather than 
massive. At a distance it commands attention ; and to one 
journeying through the desert places of the city gives that 
idea of Palmyra which I have before mentioned. 

Nevertheless, and in spite of all that I have said, I have 
had pleasure in walking backward and forward, and through 
the grounds which lie before the eastern front of the Capitol. 
The space for the view is ample, and the thing to be seen 
has points which are very grand. If the Capitol were fin- 
ished and all Washington were built around it, no man 
would say that the house in which Congress sat disgraced 
the city. 

Going west, but not due west, from the Capitol, Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue stretches in a right line to the Treasury cham- 
bers. The distance is beyond a mile ; and men say scorn- 
fully that the two buildings have been put so far apart in 
order to save the secretaries who sit in the bureaus from a 
too rapid influx of members of Congress. This statement 
I by no means indorse ; but it is undoubtedly the fact that 
both Senators and Representatives are very diligent in their 
calls upon gentlemen high in office. I have been present 
on some such occasions, and it has always seemed to me 
VOL, II. — 2 



that questions of patronage have been paramount. This 
reach of Pennsylvania Avenue is the quarter for the best 
shops of Washington — that is to say, the frequented side 
of it is so, that side which is on your right as you leave 
the Capitol. Of the other side the world knows nothing. 
And very bad shops they are. I doubt whether there be 
any town in the world at all equal in importance to Wash- 
ington which is in such respects so ill provided. The shops 
are bad and dear. In saying this I am guided by the opin- 
ions of all whom I heard speak on the subject. The same 
thing was told me of the hotels. Hearing that the city was 
very full at the time of my visit — full to overflowing — I 
had obtained private rooms, through a friend, before I went 
there. Had I not done so, I might have lain in the streets, 
or have made one with three or four others in a small room 
at some third-rate inn. There had never been so great a 
throng in the town. I am bound to say that my friend did 
well for me. I found myself put up at the house of one 
Wormley, a colored man, in I Street, to whose attention I 
can recommend any Englishman who may chance to want 
quarters in Washington. He has a hotel on one side of the 
street and private lodging-houses on the other, in which I 
found myself located. From what I heard of the hotels, I 
conceived myself to be greatly in luck. Willard's is the 
chief of these ; and the everlasting crowd and throng of 
men with which the halls and passages of the house were 
always full certainly did not seem to promise either privacy 
or comfort. But then there are places in which privacy and 
comfort are not expected — are hardly even desired — and 
Washington is one of them. 

The Post-office and the Patent-office lie a little away from 
Pennsylvania Avenue in F Street, and are opposite to each 
other. The Post-office is certainly a very graceful building. 
It is square, and hardly can be said to have any settled 
front or any grand entrance. It is not approached by steps, 
but stands flush on the ground, alike on each of the four 
sides. It is ornamented with Corinthian pilasters, but is 
not over-ornamented. It is certainly a structure creditable 
to any city. The streets around it are all unfinished ; and 
it is approached through seas of mud and sloughs of de- 
spond, which have been contrived, as I imagine, to lessen, 
if possible, the crowd of callers, and lighten in this way the 
overtasked officials within. That side by which the public 



in general were supposed to approach was, during my so- 
journ, always guarded by vast mountains of flour barrels. 
Looking up at the windows of the building, I perceived 
also that barrels were piled within, and then I knew that 
the Post-0 nice had become a provision depot for the army. 
The official arrangements here for the public were so bad 
as to be absolutely barbarous. I feel some remorse in say- 
ing this, for I was myself treated with the utmost courtesy 
by gentlemen holding high positions in the office, to which 
I was specially attracted by my own connection with the 
post-office in England. But I do not think that such 
courtesy should hinder me from telling what I saw that was 
bad, seeing that it would not hinder me from telling what I 
saw that was good. In Washington there is but one post- 
office. There are no iron pillars or wayside letter-boxes, 
as are to be found in other towns of the Union — no sub- 
sidiary offices at which stamps can be bought and letters 
posted. The distances of the city are very great, the means 
of transit through the city very limited, the dirt of the city 
ways unrivaled in depth and tenacity, and yet there is but 
one post-office. Nor is there any established system of 
letter-carriers. To those who desire it letters are brought 
out and delivered by carriers, who charge a separate por- 
terage for that service ; but the rule is that letters should 
be delivered from the window. For strangers this is of 
course a necessity of their position; and I found that, when 
once I had left instruction that my letters should be deliv- 
ered, those instructions were carefully followed. Indeed, 
nothing could exceed the civility of the officials within ; 
but so also nothing can exceed the barbarity of the arrange- 
ments without. The purchase of stamps I found to be ut- 
terly impracticable. They were sold at a window in a cor- 
ner, at which newspapers were also delivered, to which there 
was no regular ingress and from which there was no egress. 
It would generally be deeply surrounded by a crowd of 
muddy soldiers, who would wait there patiently till time 
should enable them to approach the window. The delivery 
of letters was almost more tedious, though in that there 
was a method. The aspirants stood in a long line, en cue, 
as we are told by Carlyle that the bread-seekers used to 
approach the bakers' shops at Paris during the Revolution. 
This "cue" would sometimes project out into the street. 
The work inside was done very slowly. The clerk had no 



facility, by use of a desk or otherwise, for running through 
the letters under the initials denominated, but turned letter 
by letter through his hand. To one questioner out of ten 
would a letter be given. It no doubt may be said in excuse 
for this that the presence of the army round Washington 
caused, at that period, special inconvenience; and that plea 
should of course be taken, were it not that a very trifling 
alteration in the management within would have remedied 
all the inconvenience. As a building, the Washington Post- 
ofiSce is very good ; as the center of a most complicated 
and difiScult department, I believe it to be well managed ; 
but as regards the special accommodation given by it to 
the city in which it stands, much cannot, I think, be said in 
its favor. 

Opposite to that which is, I presume, the back of the 
Post-oflQce, stands the Patent-office. This also is a grand 
building, with a fine portico of Doric pillars at each of its 
three fronts. These are approached by flights of steps, 
more gratifying to the eye than to the legs. The whole 
structure is massive and grand, and, if the streets round it 
were finished, would be imposing. The utilitarian spirit of 
the nation has, however, done much toward marring the ap- 
pearance of the building, by piercing it with windows alto- 
gether unsuited to it, both in number and size. The walls, 
even under the porticoes, have been so pierced, in order 
that the whole space might be utilized without loss of light; 
and the efi'ect is very mean. The windows are small, and 
without ornament — something like a London window of 
the time of George III. The efi'ect produced by a dozen 
such at the back of a noble Doric porch, looking down 
among the pillars, may be imagined. 

In the interior of this building the Minister of the Inte- 
rior holds his court, and, of course, also the Commissioners 
of Patents. Here is, in accordance with the name of the 
building, a museum of models of all patents taken out. I 
wandered through it, gazing with listless eye now upon this 
and now upon that ; but to me, in my ignorance, it was no 
better than a large toy-shop. When I saw an ancient, dusty 
white hat, with some peculiar appendage to it which was 
unintelligible, it was no more to me than any other old 
white hat. But had I been a man of science, what a tale 
it might have told ! Wandering about through the Patent- 
office I also found a hospital for soldiers. A British officer 



was with me who pronounced it to be, in its kind, very good. 
At any rate it was sweet, airy, and large. In these days 
the soldiers had got hold of everything. 

The Treasury chambers is as yet an unfinished building. 
The front to the south has been completed ; but that to the 
north has not been built Here at the north stands as yet 
the old Secretary of State's office. This is to come down, 
and the Secretary of State is to be located in the new build- 
ing, which will be added to the Treasury. This edifice will 
probably strike strangers more forcibly than any other in 
the town, both from its position and from its own character. 
It stands with its side to Pennsylvania Avenue, but tlie 
avenue here has turned round, and runs due north and south, 
having taken a twist, so as to make way for the Treasury 
and for the President's house, through both of which it must 
run had it been carried straight on throughout. These pub- 
lic offices stand with their side to the street, and the whole 
length is ornamented with an exterior row of Ionic columns 
raised high above the footway. This is perhaps the prettiest 
thing in the city, and when the front to the north has been 
completed, the effect will be still better. The granite mono- 
liths which have been used, and which are to be used, in 
this building are very massive. As one enters by the steps 
to the south there are two flat stones, one on each side of 
the ascent, the surface of each of which is about twenty 
feet by eighteen. The columns are, I think, all monoliths. 
Of those which are still to be erected, and which now lie 
about in the neighboring streets, I measured one or two — 
one which was still in the rough I found to be thirty-two 
feet long by five feet broad, and four and a half deep. 
These granite blocks have been brought to Washington 
from the State of Maine. The fin'shed front of this build- 
ing, looking down to the Potomac, is very good ; but to my 
eyes this also has been much injured by the rows of windows 
which look out from the building into the space of the por- 

The President's house — or the White House as it is now 
called all the world over — is a handsome mansion fitted for 
the chief officer of a great republic, and nothing more. I 
think I may say that we have private houses in London 
considerably larger. It is neat and pretty, and with all its 
immediate outside belongings calls down no adverse criti- 
cism. It faces on to a small garden, which seems to be 

VOL. 2. — 2* 



always accessible to the public, and opens ont npon that 
everlasting Pennsylvania Avenue, which has now made 
anotlier turn. Here in front of tlie White House is Presi- 
dent's Square, as it is generally called. The technical name 
is, I believe, La Fayette Square. The houses round it are 
few in number — not exceeding three or four on each side, 
but they are among the best in Washington, and the whole 
place is neat and well kept. President's Square is certainly 
the most attractive part of the city. The garden of the 
square is always open, and does not seem to suffer from any 
public ill usage ; by which circumstance I am again led to 
suggest that the gardens of our London squares might be 
'thrown open in the same way. In the center of this one at 
Washington, immediately facing the President's house, is an 
equestrian statue of General Jackson. It is very bad; but 
that it is not nearly as bad as it might be is proved by 
another equestrian statue — of General Washington — erected 
in the center of a small garden plat at the end of Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue, near the bridge leading to Georgetown. Of 
all the statues on horseback which I ever saw, either in 
marble or bronze, this is by far the worst and most ridicu- 
lous. The horse is most absurd, but the man sitting on the 
horse is manifestly drunk. I should think the time must 
come when this figure at any rate will be removed. 

I did not go inside the President's house, not having had 
while at Washington an opportunity of paj-ing my personal 
respects to Mr. Lincoln. I had been told that this was to 
be done without trouble, but when I inquired on the subject 
I found that this was not exactly the case. I believe there 
are times when anybody may walk into the President's house 
without an introduction ; bpt that, I take it, is not consid- 
ered to be the proper way of doing the work. I found that 
something like a favor would be incurred, or that some disa- 
greeable trouble would be given, if I made a request to be 
presented, and therefore I left Washington without seeing 
the great man. 

The President's house is nice to look at, but it is built on 
marshy ground, not much above the level of the Potomac, 
and is very unhealthy. I was told that all who live there 
become subject to fever and ague, and that few who now 
live there have escaped it altogether. This comes of choos- 
ing the site of a new city, and decreeing that it shall bo 
built on this or on that spot. Large cities, especially in 



these latter days, do not collect themselves in unhealthy 
places. Men desert such localities — or at least do not con- 
gregate at them when their character is once known. But 
the poor President cannot desert the Wliite House. He 
must make the most of the residence which the nation has 
prepared for him. 

Of the other considerable public building of Washington, 
called the Smithsonian Institution, I have said that its style 
was bastard Gothic ; by this I mean that its main attributes 
are Gothic, but that liberties have been taken with it, which, 
whether they may injure its beauty or no, certainly are sub- 
versive of architectural purity. It is built of red stone, and 
is not ugly in itself. There is a very nice Norman porch to 
it, and little bits of Lombard Gothic have been well copied 
from Cologne. But windows have been fitted in with stilted 
arches, of which the stilts seem to crack and bend, so nar- 
row are they and so high. And then the towers with high 
pinnacled roofs are a mistake — unless indeed they be needed 
to give to the whole structure that name of Romanesque 
which it has assumed. The building is used for museums 
and lectures, and was given to the city by one James Smith- 
son, an Englishman. I cannot say that the City of Wash- 
ington seems to be grateful, for all to whom I spoke on the 
subject hinted that the Institution was a failure. It is to 
be remarked that nobody in Washington is proud of Wash- 
ington, or of anything in it. If the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion w^re at New York or at Boston, one would have a dif- 
ferent story to tell. 

There has been an attempt made to raise at Washington 
a vast obelisk to the memory of Washington — the first in 
war and first in peace, as the country is proud to call him. 
This obelisk is a fair type of the city. It is unfinished — 
not a third of it having as yet been erected — and in all 
human probability ever will remain so. If finished, it would 
be the highest monument of its kind standing on the face of 
the globe; and yet, after all, what would it be even then as 
compared with one of the great pyramids ? Modern attempts 
cannot bear comparison with those of the old world in simple 
vastness. But in lieu of simple vastness, the modern world 
aims to achieve either beauty or utility. By the Washing- 
ton' monument, if completed, neither would be achieved. 
An obelisk with the proportions of a needle may be very 
graceful; but an obelisk which requires an expanse of flat- 



roofed, sprawling buildings for its base, and of which the 
shaft shall be as big as a cathedral tower, cannot be grace- 
ful. At present some third portion of the shaft has been 
built, and there it stands. No one has a word to say for it. 
No one thinks that money will ever again be subscribed for 
its completion. I saw somewhere a box of plate-glass kept 
for contributions for this purpose, and looking in perceived 
that two half-dollar pieces had been given — but both of 
them were bad. I was told also that the absolute founda- 
tion of the edifice is bad — that the ground, which is near 
the river and swampy, would not bear the weight intended 
to be imposed on it. 

A sad and saddening spot was that marsh, as I wandered 
down on it all alone one Sunday afternoon. The ground 
was frozen and I could walk dry-shod, but there was not a 
blade of grass. Around me on all sides were cattle in great 
numbers — steers and big oxen — lowing in their hunger for 
a meal. They were beef for the army, and never again, I 
suppose, would it be allowed to them to fill their big maws 
and chew the patient cud. There, on the brown, ugly, un- 
drained field, within easy sight of the President's house, 
stood the useless, shapeless, graceless pile of stones. It was 
as though I were looking on the genius of the city. It was 
vast, pretentious, bold, boastful with a loud voice, already 
taller by many heads than other obelisks, but nevertheless 
still in its infancy — ugly, unpromising, and false. The 
founder of the monument had said. Here shall be the obelisk 
of the world ! and the founder of the city had thought of 
his child somewhat in the same strain. It is still possible 
that both city and monument shall be completed ; but at the 
present moment nobody seems to believe in the one or in the 
other. For myself, I have much faith in the American char- 
acter, but I cannot believe either in Washington City or in 
the Washington Monument. The boast made has been too 
loud, and tlie fulfillment yet accomplished has been too 
small ! 

Have I as yet said that Washington was dirty in that 
winter of 1861-62? Or, I should rather ask, have I made 
it understood that in walking about Washington one waded 
as deep in mud as one does in floundering through an ordi- 
nary plowed field in November? There were parts of Penn- 
sylvania Avenue which would have been considered heavy 
ground by most hunting-men, and through some of the 



remoter streets none but light weights could have lived long. 
This was the state of the town when I left it in the middle 
of January. On my arrival in the middle of December, 
everything was in a cloud of dust. One walked through an 
atmosphere of floating mud ; for the dirt was ponderous and 
thick, and very palpable in its atoms. Then came a severe 
frost and a little snow; and if one did not fall while walk- 
ing, it was very well. After that we had the thaw; and 
Washington assumed its normal winter condition. I must 
say that, during the whole of this time, the atmosphere was 
to me exhilarating; but I was hardly out of the doctor's 
hands while I was there, and he did not support my theory 
as to the goodness of the air. "It is poisoned by the sol- 
diers," he said, "and everybody is ill." But then my doctor 
was, perhaps, a little tinged with Southern proclivities. 

On the Virginian side of the Potomac stands a country- 
house called Arlington Heights, from which there is a fine 
view down upon the city. Arlington Heights is a beautiful 
spot — having all the attractions of a fine park in our country. 
It is covered with grand timber. The ground is varied and 
broken, and the private roads about sweep here into a dell 
and then up a brae side, as roads should do in such a domain. 
Below it was the Potomac, and immediately on the other 
side stands the City of Washington. Any city seen thus is 
graceful ; and the white stones of the big buildings, when 
the sun gleams on them, showing the distant rows of col- 
umns, seem to tell something of great endeavor and of 
achieved success. It is the place from whence Washington 
should be seen by those who wish to think well of the present 
city and of its future prosperity. But is it not the case that 
every city is beautiful from a distance ? 

The house at Arlington Heights is picturesque, but neither 
large nor good. It has before it a high Greek colonnade, 
which seems to be almost bigger than the house itself. 
Had such been built in a city — and many such a portico does 
stand in cities through the States — it would be neither pic- 
turesque nor graceful ; but here it is surrounded by timber, 
and as the columns are seen through the trees, they gratify 
the eye rather than offend it. The place did belong, and as 
I think does still belong, to the family of the Lees — if not 
already confiscated. General Lee, who is or would be the pres- 
ent owner, bears high command in the army of the Confeder- 
ates, and knows well by what tenure he holds or is likely to 


hold his family property. The family were friends of General 
Washington, whose seat, Mount Yernon, stands about 
twelve miles lower down the river; and here, no doubt, 
Washington often stood, looking on the site he had chosen. 
If his spirit could stand there nov7 and look around upon 
the masses of soldiers by which his capital is surrounded, 
how would it address the city of his hopes ? When he saw 
that every foot of the neighl3oring soil was desecrated by a 
camp, or torn into loathsome furrows of mud by cannon and 
army wagons — that agriculture was gone, and that every 
effort both of North and South was concentrated on the art 
of killing; when he saw that this was done on the very spot 
chosen by himself for the center temple of an everlasting 
union, what would he then say as to that boast made on his 
behalf by his countrymen, that he was first in war and first 
in peace ? Washington was a great man, and I believe a 
good man. I, at any rate, will not belittle him. I think 
that he had the firmness and audacity necessary for a revo- 
lutionary leader, that he had honesty to preserve him from 
the temptations of ambition and ostentation, and that he 
had the good sense to be guided in civil matters by men who 
had studied the laws of social life and the theories of free 
government. He was Justus et tenax propositi; and in 
periods that might well have dismayed a smaller man, he 
feared neither the throne to which he opposed himself nor 
the changing voices of the fellow-citizens for whose welfare 
he had fought. But sixty or seventy years will not suffice 
to give to a man the fame of having been first among all 
men. Washington did much, and I for one do not believe 
that his work will perish. But I have always found it diffi- 
cult — I may say impossible — to sound his praises in his own 
land. Let us suppose that a courteous Frenchman ventures 
an opinion among Englishmen that Wellington was a great 
general, would he feel disposed to go on with his eulogium 
when encountered on two or three sides at once with such 
observations as the following: "I should rather calculate 
he was ; about the first that ever did live or ever will live. 
Why, he whipped your Napoleon everlasting whenever he 
met him. He whipped everybody out of the field. There 
warn't anybody ever lived was able to stand nigh him, and 
there won't come any like him again. Sir, I guess our 
Wellington never had his likes on your side of the water. 
Such men can't grow in a down-trodden country of slaves 



and paupers." Under such circumstances the Frenchman 
would probably be shut up. And when I strove to speak 
of Washington I generally found myself shut up also. 

Arlington Heights, when I was at Washington, was the 
headquarters of General McDowell, the general to whom is 
attributed — I believe most wrongfully — the loss of the bat- 
tle of Bull's Run. The whole place was then one camp. 
The fences had disappeared. The gardens were trodden 
into mud. The roads had been cut to pieces, and new 
tracks made everywhere through the grounds. But the 
timber still remained. Some no doubt had fallen, but 
enough stood for the ample ornamentation of the place. 
I saw placards up, prohibiting the destruction of the trees, 
and it is to be hoped that they have been spared. Yery 
little in this way has been spared in the country all 

Mount Yernon, Washington's own residence, stands 
close over the Potomac, about six miles below Alexandria. 
It will be understood that the capital is on the eastern, or 
Maryland side of the river, and that Arlington Heights, 
Alexandria, and Mount Yernon are in Yirginia. The 
River Potomac divided the two old colonies, or States as 
they afterward became; but when Washington was to be 
built, a territory, said to be ten miles square, was cut out 
of the two States and was called the District of Columbia. 
The greater portion of this district was taken from Mary- 
land, and on that the city was built. It comprised the 
pleasant town of Georgetown, which is now a suburb — and 
the only suburb — of Washington. The portion of the dis- 
trict on the Yirginian side included Arlington Heights, and 
went so far down the river as to take in the Yirginian City 
of Alexandria. This was the extreme western point of the 
district; but since that arrangement was made, the State of 
Yirginia petitioned to have their portion of Columbia back 
again, and this petition was granted. Now it is felt that 
the land on both sides of the river should belong to the 
city, and the government is anxious to get back the Yir- 
ginian section. The city and the immediate vicinity are 
freed from all State allegiance, and are under the imme- 
diate rule of the United States government — having of 
course its own municipality; but the inhabitants have no 
political power, as power is counted in the States. They 
vote for no political officer, not even for the President, and 



return no member to Congress, either as a Senator or as a 
Representative. Mount Vernon was never within the Dis- 
trict of Cohimbia. 

When I first made inquiry on the subject, I was told that 
Mount Vernon at that time was not to be reached; that 
though it was not in the hands of the rebels, neither was it 
in the hands of Northerners, and that therefore strangers 
could not go there; but this, though it was told to me and 
others by those who should have known the facts, was not 
the case. I had gone down the river with a party of ladies, 
and we were opposite to Mount Vernon ; but on that occa- 
sion we were assured we could not land. The rebels, we 
were told, would certainly seize the ladies, and carry them 
otf into Secessia. On hearing which, the ladies were of 
course doubly anxious to be landed. But our stern com- 
mander, for we were on a government boat, would not 
listen to their prayers, but carried us instead on board the 
"Pensacola," a sloop-of-war which was now lying in the 
river, ready to go to sea, and ready also to run the gant- 
let of the rebel batteries which lined the Virginian shore of 
the river for many miles down below Alexandria and Mount 
Vernon. A sloop-of-war in these days means a large man- 
of-war, the guns of which are so big that they only stand on 
one deck, whereas a frigate would have them on two decks, 
and a line-of-battle ship on three. Of line-of-battle ships 
there will, I suppose, soon be none, as the "Warrior" is 
only a frigate. We went over the "Pensacola," and I must 
say she was very nice, pretty, and clean. I have always 
found American sailors on their men-of-war to be clean and 
nice looking — as much so I should say as our own; but 
nothing can be dirtier, more untidy, or apparently more ill 
preserved than all the appurtenances of their soldiers. 

We landed also on this occasion at Alexandria, and saw 
as melancholy and miserable a town as the mind of man can 
conceive. Its ordinary male population, counting by the 
voters, is 1500, and of these TOO were in the Southern 
army. The place had been made a hospital for Northern 
soldiers, and no doubt the site for that purpose had been 
well chosen. But let any woman imagine what would be 
the feelings of her life while living in a town used as a hos- 
pital for the enemies against whom her absent husband was 
then fighting. Her own man would be away — ill, wounded, 
dying, for what she knew, without the comfort of any hos- 



pital attendance, without physic, with no one to comfort 
liim ; but those she hated with a hatred much keener than 
his were close to her hand, using some friend's house that 
had been forcibly taken, crawling out into the sun under 
her' eyes, taking the bread from her mouth! Life in Alex- 
andria at this time must have been sad enough. The people 
were all secessionists, but the town was held by the North- 
ern party. Through the lines, into Virginia, they could 
not go at all. Up to Washington they could not go with- 
out a military pass, not to be obtained without some cause 
given. All trade was at an end. In no town at that time 
was trade very flourishing; but here it was killed alto- 
gether — except that absolutely necessary trade of bread. 
Who would buy boots or coats, or want new saddles, or 
waste money on- books, in such days as these, in such a 
town as Alexandria? And then out of 1500 men, one- 
half had gone to fight the Southern battles I Among the 
women of Alexandria secession would have found but few 

It was here that a hot-brained young man, named Ells- 
worth, was killed in the early days of the rebellion. He 
was a colonel in the Northern volunteer army, and on 
entering Alexandria found a secession flag flying at the 
chief hotel. Instead of sending up a corporal's guard to 
remove it, he rushed up and pulled it down with his own 
hand. As he descended, the landlord shot him dead, and 
one of his soldiers shot the landlord dead. It was a pity 
that so brave a lad, who had risen so high, should fall so 
vainly; but they have made a hero of him in America; 
have inscribed his name on marble monuments, and counted 
him up among their great men. In all this their mistake is 
very great. It is bad for a country to have no names 
worthy of monumental brass; but it is worse for a country 
to have monumental brasses covered with names which have 
never been made worthy of such honor. Ellsworth had 
shown himself to be brave and foolish. Let his folly be 
pardoned on the score of his courage, and there, I think, 
should have been an end of it. 

I found afterward that Mount Yernon was accessible, 
and I rode thither with some officers of the staff of General 
Heintzelman, whose outside pickets were stationed beyond 
the old place, I certainly should not have been well pleased 
had I been forced to leave the country without seeing the 

VOL. II. — 3 



house in which Washington had lived and died. Till lately 
this place was owned and inhabited by one of the family, a 
Washington, descended from a brother of the general's; 
but it has now become the property of the country, under 
the auspices of Mr. Everett, by whose exertions was raised 
the money with which it was purchased. It is a long house, 
of two stories, built, I think, chiefly of wood, with a 
veranda, or rather long portico, attached to the front, 
which looks upon the river. There are two wings, or sets 
of outhouses, containing the kitchen and servants' rooms, 
which were joined by open wooden verandas to the main 
building ; but one of these verandas has gone, under the 
influence of years. By these a semicircular sweep is formed 
before the front door, which opens away from the river, and 
toward the old prim gardens, in which, we were told. General 
¥/ashington used to take much delight. There is nothing 
very special about the house. Indeed, as a house, it would 
now be found comfortless and inconvenient. But the ground 
falls well down to the river, and the timber, if not fine, is 
plentiful and picturesque. The chief interest of the place, 
however, is in the tomb of Washington and his wife. It 
must be understood that it was a common practice through- 
out the States to make a family buryiug-ground in any 
secluded spot on the family property. I have not unfre- 
quently come across these in my rambles, and in Virginia I 
have encountered small, unpretending gravestones under a 
shady elm, dated as lately as eight or ten years back. At 
Mount Yernon there is now a cemetery of the Washington 
family; and there, in an open vault — a vault open, but 
guarded by iron grating — is the great man's tomb, and by 
his side the tomb of Martha his wife. As I stood there 
alone, with no one by to irritate me by assertions of the 
man's absolute supremacy, I acknowledged that I had come 
to the final resting-place of a great and good man, — of a 
man whose patriotism was, I believe, an honest feeling, un- 
tinged by any personal ambition of a selfish nature. That 
he was pre-eminently a successful man may have been due 
chiefly to the excellence of his cause, and the blood and 
character of the people who put him forward as their right 
arm in their contest; but that he did not mar that success 
by arrogance, or destroy the brightness of his own name by 
personal aggrandizement, is due to a noble nature and to 
the calm individual excellence of the man. 



Considering the circumstances and history of the place, 
the position of Mount Yernon, as I saw it, was very re- 
markable. It lay exactly between the lines of the two 
armies. The pickets of the Northern array had been ex- 
tended beyond it, not improbably with the express intention 
of keeping a spot so hallowed within the power of the 
Northern government. But since the war began it had 
been in the hands of the seceders. In fact, it stood there 
in the middle of the battle-held, on the very line of division 
between loyalism and secession. And this was the spot 
which Washington had selected as the heart and center, 
and safest rallying homestead of the united nation which he 
left behind him. But Washington, when he resolved to 
found his capital on the banks of the Potomac, knew nothing 
of the glories of the Mississippi. He did not dream of the 
speedy addition to his already gathered constellations of 
those Western stars — of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and 
Iowa; nor did he dream of Texas conquered, Louisiana pur- 
chased, and Missouri and Kansas rescued from the wilderness. 

I have said that Washington was at that time — the 
Christmas of 1861-62 — a melancholy place. This was 
partly owing to the despondent tone in which so many 
Americans then spoke of their own affairs. It was not that 
the Northern men thought that they were to be beaten, or 
that the Southern men feared that things were going bad 
with their party across the river ; but that nobody seemed 
to have any faith in anybody. McClellan had been put up 
as the true man — exalted perhaps too quickly, considering 
the limited opportunities for distinguishing himself which 
fortune had thrown in his way ; but now belief in McClellan 
seemed to be slipping away. One felt that it was so from 
day to day, though it was impossible to define how or 
whence the feeling came. And then the character of the 
ministry fared still worse in public estimation. That Lin- 
coln, the President, was honest, and that Chase, the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, was able, was the only good that one 
heard spoken. At this time two Jonahs were specially 
pointed out as necessary sacrifices, by whose immersion 
into the comfortless ocean of private life the ship might 
perhaps be saved. These were Mr. Cameron, the Secretary 
of War, and Mr. Welles, the Secretary of the Navy. It 
was said that Lincoln, when pressed to rid his cabinet of 
Cameron, had replied, that when a man was crossing a 



stream the moment was hardly convenient for changing 
Ills horse ; but it came to that at last, that he found he 
must change his horse, even in the very sharpest run of the 
river. Better that than sit an animal on whose exertions 
he knew that he could not trust. So Mr. Cameron went, 
and Mr. Stanton became Secretary of War in his place. 
But Mr. Cameron, though put out of the cabinet, was to 
be saved from absolute disgrace by being sent as Minister 
to Russia. I do not know that it would become me here 
to repeat the accusations made against Mr. Cameron, but 
it had long seemed to me that the maintenance in such a 
position, at such a time, of a gentleman who had to sustain 
such a universal absence of public confidence, must have 
been most detrimental to the army and to the government. 

Men whom one met in Washington were not unhappy 
about the state of things, as I had seen men unhappy 
in the North and in the West. They were mainly indif- 
ferent, but with that sort of indifference which arises from 
a break down of faith in anything. ''There was the army I 
Yes, the army ! But what an army ! Nobody obeyed any- 
body. Nobody did anything ! Nobody thought of ad- 
vancing ! There were, perhaps, two hundred thousand men 
assembled round Washington; and now the effort of sup- 
plying them with food and clothing was as much as could 
be accomplished ! But the contractors, in the mean time, 
were becoming rich. And then as to the government ! 
Who trusted it? Who would put their faith in Seward 
and Cameron? Cameron was now gone, it was true; and 
in that way the whole of the cabinet would soon be broken 
up. As to Congress, what could Congress do? Ask ques- 
tions which no one would care to answer, and finally get 
itself packed up and sent home." The President and the 
Constitution fared no better in men's mouths. The former 
did nothing — neither harm nor good ; and as for the latter, 
it had broken down and shown itself to be inefficient. So 
men ate, and drank, and laughed, waiting till chaos should 
come, secure in the belief that the atoms into which their 
world would resolve itself would connect themselves again 
in some other form without trouble on their part. 

And at Washington I found no strong feeling against 
England and English conduct toward America. We men 
of the world," a Washington man might have said, "know 
very well that everybody must take care of himself first. 



"We are very good friends with you — of course, and are very 
glad to see you at our table whenever you come across the 
water; but as for rejoicing at your joys, or expecting you 
to sympathize with our sorrows, we know the world too 
well for that. We are splitting into pieces, and of course 
that is gain to you. Take another cigar." This polite, 
fashionable, and certainly comfortable way of looking at 
the matter had never been attained at New York or Phila- 
delphia, at Boston or Chicago. The Northern provincial 
world of the States had declared to itself that those who 
were not with it were against it; that its neighbors should 
be either friends or foes; that it would understand nothing 
of neutrality. This was often mortifying to me, but I think 
I liked it better on the whole than the laisser-aller indiffer- 
ence of Washington. 

Everybody acknowledged that society in Washington 
had been almost destroyed by the loss of the Southern half 
of the usual sojourners in the city. The Senators and mem- 
bers of government, who heretofore had come from the 
Southern States, had no doubt spent more money in the 
capital than their Northern brethren. They and their fami- 
lies had been more addicted to social pleasures. They are 
the descendants of the old English Cavaliers, whereas the 
Northern men have come from the old English Roundheads. 
Or if, as may be the case, the blood of the races has now 
been too well mixed to allow of this being said with abso- 
lute truth, yet something of the manners of the old fore- 
fathers has been left. The Southern gentleman is more 
genial, less dry — I will not say more hospitable, but more 
given to enjoy hospitality than his Northern brother; and 
this difference is quite as strong with the women as with 
the men. It may therefore be un^lerstood that secession 
would be very fatal to the society of Washington. It was 
not only that the members of Congress were not there. As 
to very many of the Representatives, it may be said that 
they do not belong sufficiently to Washington to make a 
part of its society. It is not every Representative that is, 
perhaps, qualified to do so. But secession had taken away 
from Washington those who held property in the South — 
who were bound to the South by any ties, whether political 
or other; who belonged to the South by blood, education, 
and old habits. In very many cases — nay, in most such 
cases — it had been necessary that a man should select 

VOL. II.— 3* 



whether he would be a friend to the South, and therefore a 
rebel ; or else an enemy to the South, and therefore untrue 
to all the predilections and sympathies of his life. Here 
has been the hardship. For such people there has been 
no neutrality possible. Ladies even have not been able to 
profess themselves simply anxious for peace and good-will, 
and so to remain tranquil. They who are not for me are 
against me, has been spoken by one side and by the other. 
And I suppose that in all civil war it is necessary that it 
should be so. I heard of various cases in which father and 
son had espoused different sides in order that property 
might be retained both in the North and in the South. 
Under such circumstances it may be supposed that society 
in Washington would be considerably cut up. All this 
made the place somewhat melancholy. 



In the interior of the Capitol much space is at present 
wasted, but this arises from the fact of great additions to 
the original plan having been made. The two chambers — 
that of the Senate and the Representatives — are in the two 
new wings, on the middle or what we call the first floor. 
The entrance is made under a dome to a large circular hall, 
which is hung around with surely the worst pictures by which 
a nation ever sought to glorify its own deeds. There are 
yards of paintings atYersailles which are bad enough; but 
there is nothing at Versailles comparable in villany to the 
huge daubs which are preserved in this hall at the Capitol. 
It is strange that even self-laudatory patriotism should de- 
sire the perpetuation of such rubbish. When I was there 
the new dome was still in progress ; and an ugly column of 
wood-work, required for internal support and affording a 
staircase to the top, stood in this hall. This of course was 
a temporary and necessary evil ; but even this was hung 
around with the vilest of portraits. 

From the hall, turning to the left, if the entrance be made 
at the front door, one goes to the new Chamber of Repre- 



sentatives, passing through that which was tho ohl chamber. 
This is now dedicated to the exposition of various new fig- 
ures by Crawford, and to the sale of tarts and gingerbread 
— of very bad tarts and gingerbread. Let tliat old woman 
look to it, or let the House dismiss her. In fact, this cham- 
ber is now but a vestibule to a passage — a second hall, as it 
were, and thus thrown away. Changes probably will be 
made which will bring it into some use or some scheme of 
ornamentation. From this a passage runs to the Repre- 
sentative Chamber, passing between those tell-tale windows, 
which, looking to the right and left, proclaim the tenuity of 
the building. The windows on one side — that looking to 
the east or front — should, I think, be closed. The appear- 
ance, both from the inside and from the outside, would be 
thus improved. 

The liepresentative Chamber itself — which of course an- 
swers to our House of Commons — is a handsome, commo- 
dious room, admirably fitted for the purposes required. It 
strikes one as rather low ; but I doubt, if it were higher, 
whether it would be better adapted for hearing. Even at 
present it is not perfect in this respect as regards the listen- 
ers in the gallery. It is a handsome, long chamber, lighted 
by skylights from the roof, and is amply large enough for 
the number to be accommodated. The Speaker sits oppo- 
site to the chief entrance, his desk being fixed against the 
opposite wall. He is thus brought nearer to the body of 
the men before him than is the case with our Speaker. He 
sits at a marble table, and the clerks below him are also 
accommodated with marble. Every Representative has his 
own arm-chair, and his own desk before it. This may be done 
for a house consisting of about two hundred and forty mem- 
bers, but could hardly be contrived with us. These desks 
are arranged in a semicircular form, or in a broad horse- 
shoe, and every member as he sits faces the Speaker. A 
score or so of little boys are always running about the floor 
ministering to the members' wishes — carrying up petitions 
to the chair, bringing water to long-winded legislators, de- 
livering and carrying out letters, and running with general 
messages. They do not seem to interrupt the course of 
business, and yet they are the liveliest little boys I ever 
saw. When a member claps his hands, indicating a desire 
for attendance, three or four will jockey for the honor. On 
tlie whole, I thought the little boys had a good time of it. 



But uot SO the Speaker. It seemed to me that the amount 
of work falling upon the Speaker's shoulders was cruelly 
heavy. His voice was always ringing in my ears exactly as 
does the voice of the croupier at a gambling-table, who goes 
on declaring and explaining the results of the game, and 
who generally does so in sharp, loud, ringing tones, from 
which all interest in the proceeding itself seems to be ex- 
cluded. It was just so with the Speaker in the House of 
Representatives. The debate was always full of interrup- 
tions; but on every interruption ihe Speaker asked the 
gentleman interrupted whether he would consent to be so 
treated. " The gentleman from Indiana has the floor." 
" The gentleman from Ohio wishes to ask the gentleman 
from Indiana a question." "The gentleman from Indiana 
gives permission." " The gentleman from Ohio 1" — these last 
words being a summons to him of Oiiio to get up and ask 
his question. "The gentleman from Pennsylvania rises to 
order." "The gentleman from Pennsylvania is in order." 
And then the House seems always to be voting, and the 
Speaker is always putting the question. " The gentlemen 
who agree to the amendment will say Aye." Not a sound 
is heard. " The gentlemen who oppose the amendment will 
say No." Again not a sound. " The Ayes have it," says 
the Speaker, and then he goes on again. All this he does 
with amazing rapidity, and is always at it with the same 
hard, quick, ringing, uninterested voice. The gentleman 
tvhom I saw in the chair was very clever, and quite up to 
the task. But as for dignity — ! Perhaps it might be 
found that any great accession of dignity would impede the 
celerity of the work to be done, and that a closer copy of 
the British model might not on the whole increase the effi- 
ciency of the American machine. 

When any matter of real interest occasioned a vote, the 
ayes and noes would be given aloud ; and then, if there 
w^ere a doubt arising from the volume of sound, the Speaker 
would declare that the "ayes" or the " noes" would seem 
to have it ! And upon this a poll would be demanded. In 
such cases the Speaker calls on two members, who come 
forth and stand fronting each other before the chair, making 
a gangway. Through this the ayes walk like sheep, the tell- 
ers giving them an accelerating poke when they fail to go 
on with rapidity. Thus they are counted, and the noes are 
counted in the same way. It seemed to me that it would 



be very possible in a dishonest legislator to vote twice on 
any subject of great interest ; but it may perhaps be the 
case that there are no dishonest legislators in the House of 

According to a list which I obtained, the present number 
of members is 173, and there are 63 vacancies occasioned 
by secession. New York returns 33 members ; Pennsylva- 
nia, 25 ; Ohio, 21 ; Virginia, 13; Massachusetts and Indi- 
ana, 11 ; Tennessee and Kentucky, 10 ; South Carolina, 6; 
and so on, till Delaware, Kansas, and Florida return only 
1 each. When the Constitution was framed, Pennsylvania 
returned 8, and New York only 6 ; whereas Virginia re- 
turned 10, and South Carolina 5. From which may be 
gathered the relative rate of increase in population of the 
free-soil States and the slave States. All these States re- 
turn two Senators each to the other House — Kansas send- 
ing as many as New York. The work in the House begins 
at twelve noon, and is not often carried on late into the even- 
ing. Indeed, this, I think, is never done till toward the end 
of the session. 

The Senate House is in the opposite wing of the build- 
ing, the position of the one house answering exactly to that 
of the other. It is somewhat smaller, but is, as a matter 
of course, much less crowded. There are 34 States, and, 
therefore, 68 seats and 68 desks only are required. These 
also are arranged in a horseshoe form, and face the Presi- 
dent; but there was a sad array of empty chairs when I 
was in Washington, nineteen or twenty seats being vacant 
in consequence of secession. In this house the Yice-Presi- 
dent of the United States acts as President, but has by no 
means so hard a job of work as his brother on the other 
side of the way. Mr. Hannibal Hamlin, from Maine, now 
fills this chair. I was driven, while in Washington, to ob- 
serve something amounting almost to a peculiarity in the 
Christian names of the gentlemen who w^ere then adminis- 
trating the government of the country. Mr. Abraham 
Lincoln was the President; Mr. Hannibal Hamlin, the 
Yice-President ; Mr. Galusha Grow, the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives; Mr. Salmon Chase, the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury; Mr. Caleb Smith, the Attorney- 
General; Mr. Simon Cameron, the Secretary of War; and 
Mr. Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy. 

In the Senate House, as in the other house, there are 



very commodious galleries for strangers, running round the 
entire chambers, and these galleries are open to all the 
world. As with all such places in the States, a large por- 
tion of them is appropriated to ladies. But I came at last 
to find that the word lady signified a female or a decently 
dressed man. Any arrangement for classes is in America 
impossible; the seats intended for gentlemen must, as a 
matter of course, be open to all men ; but by giving up to 
the rougher sex half the amount of accommodation nomi- 
nally devoted to ladies, the desirable division is to a certain 
extent made. I generally found that I could obtain admit- 
tance to the ladies' gallery if my coat were decent and I had 
gloves with me. 

All the adjuncts of both these chambers are rich and in 
good keeping. The staircases are of marble, and the out- 
side passages and lobbies are noble in size and in every way 
convenient. One knows well the trouble of getting into 
the House of Lords and House of Commons, and the want 
of comfort which attends one there; and an Englishman 
cannot fail to make comparisons injurious to his own coun- 
try. It would not, perhaps, be possible to welcome all the 
world in London as is done in Washington, but there can 
be no good reason why the space given to the public with 
us should not equal that given in Washington. But, so 
far are we from sheltering the public, that we have made 
our House of Commons so small that it will not even hold 
all its own members. 

I had an opportunity of being present at one of their 
field days in the Senate. Slidell and Alason had just then 
been sent from Fort Warren across to England in the Ri- 
naldo. And here I may as well say what further there is 
'for me to say about those two heroes. I was in Boston 
when they were taken, and all Boston was then full of 
them. I was at Washington when they were surrendered, 
and at Washington for a time their names were the only 
household words in vogue. To me it had from the first 
been a matter of certainty that England would demand the 
restitution of the men. 1 had never attempted to argue 
the matter on the legal points, but I felt, as though by in- 
stinct, that it would be so. First of all there reached us, 
by telegram from Cape Race, rumors of what the press 
in England was saying; rumors of a meeting in Liver- 
pool, and rumors of the feeling in London. And tlicn 



the papers followed, and wc got our private letters. It 
was some days before we knew what was aetiially the 
demand made by Lord Palmerston's cabinet; and during 
this time, through the five or six days which were thus 
passed, it was clear to be seen that the American feeling 
was undergoing a great change — or if not the feeling, at 
any rate the purpose. Men now talked of surrendering 
these Commissioners, as though it were a line of conduct 
which Mr. Seward might find convenient; and then men 
went further, and said that Mr. Seward would find any 
other line of conduct very inconvenient. The newspapers, 
one after another, came round. That, under all these cir- 
cumstances, the States government behaved well in the 
matter, no one, I think, can deny; but the newspapers, 
taken as a whole, were not very consistent, and, I think, 
not very dignified. They had declared with throats of 
brass that these men should never be surrendered to per- 
fidious Albion; but when it came to be understood that in 
all probability they would be so surrendered, they veered 
round without an excuse, and spoke of their surrender as 
of a thing of course. And thus, in the course of about a 
week, the whole current of men's minds was turned. For 
myself, on my first arrival at Washington, I felt certain 
that there would be war, and was preparing myself for a 
quick return to England; but from the moment that the 
first whisper of England's message reached us, and that I 
began to hear how it was received and what men said about 
it, I knew that I need not hurry myself. One met a minis- 
ter here, and a Senator there, and anon some wise diplo- 
matic functionary. By none of these grave men would any 
secret be divulged ; none of them had any secret ready for 
divulging. But it was to be read in every look of the eye, 
in every touch of the hand, and in every fall of the foot of 
each of them, that Mason and Slidell would go to England. 

Then we had, in all the fullness of diplomatic language, 
Lord Russell's demand, and Mr. Seward's answer. Lord 
Kussell's demand was worded in language so mild, was so 
devoid of threat, was so free from anger, that at the first 
reading it seemed to ask for nothing. It almost disappointed 
by its mildness. Mr. Seward's reply, on the other hand, by 
its length of argumentation, by a certain sharpness of diction, 
to which that gentleman is addicted in his State papers, 
and by a tone of satisfaction Inherent through it all, seemed 



to demand more than lie conceded. But, in truth, Lord 
Kussell had demanded everything, and the United States 
government had conceded everything. 

I have said that the American government behaved well 
in its mode of giving the men up, and I think that so much 
should be allowed to them on a review of the whole alfair. 
That Captain Wilkes had no instructions to seize the two 
men, is a known fact. He did seize them, and brought them 
into Boston harbor, to the great delight of his countrymen. 
This delight I could understand, though of course I did not 
share it. One of these men had been the parent of the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law ; the other had been great in fostering the 
success of filibustering. Both of them were hot seces- 
sionists, and undoubtedly rebels. No two men on the con- 
tinent were more grievous in their antecedents and present 
characters to all Northern feeling. It is impossible to deny 
that they were rebels against the government of their country. 
That Captain Wilkes was not on this account justified in 
seizing them, is now a matter of history; but that the people 
of the loyal States should rejoice in their seizure, was a 
matter of course. Wilkes was received with an ovation, 
which as regarded him was ill judged and undeserved, but 
which in its spirit was natural. Had the President's gov- 
ernment at that moment disowned the deed done by Wilkes, 
and declared its intention of giving up the men unasked, the 
clamor raised would have been very great, and perhaps suc- 
cessful. We were told that th« American lawyers were 
against their doing so ; and indeed there was such a shout 
of triumph that no ministry in a country so democratic 
could have ventured to go at once against it, and to do so 
without any external pressure. 

Then came the one ministerial blunder. The President 
put forth his message, in which he was cunningly silent on 
the Slidell and Mason affair ; but to his message was ap- 
pended, according to custom, the report from Mr. Welles, 
the Secretary of the Navy. In this report approval was 
expressed of the deed done by Captain Wilkes. Captain 
Wilkes was thus in all respects indemnified, and the 
blame, if any, was taken from his shoulders and put on 
to the shoulders of that officer who was responsible for 
the Secretary's letter. It is true that in that letter the 
Secretary declared that in case of any future seizure the 
vessel seized must be taken into port, and so declared in 



animadverting on the fact that Captain Wilkes liad not 
brought the "Trent" into port. But, nevertheless, Secre- 
tary Welles api)roved of Captain Wilkes's conduct. He 
allowed the reasons to be good which Wilkes had put for- 
ward for leaving the ship, and in all' respects indemnified 
the captain. Then the responsibility shifted itself to Sec- 
retary Welles ; but I think it must be clear that the Presi- 
dent, in sending forward that report, took that responsibility 
upon himself. That he is not bound to send forward the 
reports of his Secretaries as he receives them — that he can 
disapprove them and require alteration, was proved at the 
very time by the fact that he had in this way condemned 
Secretary Cameron's report, and caused a portion of it to 
be omitted. Secretary Cameron had unfortunately allowed 
his entire report to be printed, and it appeared in a New 
York paper. It contained a recommendation with refer- 
ence to the slave question most ofiensive to a part of the 
cabinet, and to the majority of Mr. Lincoln's party. This, 
by order of the President, was omitted in the official way. 
It was certainly a pity that Mr. Welles's paragraph respect- 
ing the ''Trent" was not omitted also. The President was 
dumb on the matter, and that being so the Secretary should 
have been dumb also. 

But when the demand was made, the States government 
yielded at once, and yielded without bluster. I cannot say 
I much admired Mr. Seward's long letter. It was full of 
smart special pleading, and savored strongly, as Mr. Sew- 
ard's productions always do, of the personal author. Mr. 
Seward was making an effort to pface a great State paper 
on record, but the ars celare ariem was altogether wanting; 
and, if I am not mistaken, he was without the art itself I 
think he left the matter very much where he found it. The 
men, however, were to be surrendered, and the good policy 
consisted in this, that no delay was sought, no diplomatic 
ambiguities were put into request. It was the opinion of 
very many that some two or three months might be gained 
by correspondence, and that at the end of that time things 
might stand on a different footing. If during that time 
the North should gain any great success over the South, the 
States might be in a position to disregard England's threats. 
No such game was played. The illegality of the arrest was 
at once acknowledged, and the men were given up with a 
VOL. II. — 4 



tranquillity that certainly appeared marvelous after all that 
had so lately occurred. 

Then came Mr. Sumner's field day. Mr. Charles Sum- 
ner is a Senator from Massachusetts, known as a very hot 
abolitionist, and as having been the victim of an attack 
made upon him in the Senate House by Senator Brooks. 
He was also, at the time of which I am writing, Chairman 
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which position is as 
near akin to that of a British minister in Parliament as can 
be attained under the existing Constitution of the States. 
It is not similar, because such chairman is by no means 
bound to the government; but he has ministerial relations, 
and is supposed to be specially conversant with all questions 
relating to foreign affairs. It was understood that Mr. 
Sumner did not intend to find fault either with England or 
with the government of his own country as to its manage- 
ment of this matter ; or that, at least, such fault-finding 
was not his special object, but that he was desirous to put 
forth views which might lead to a final settlement of all 
difficulties with reference to the right of international search. 

On such an occasion, a speaker gives himself very little 
chance of making a favorable impression on his immediate 
hearers if he reads his speech from a written manuscript. 
Mr. Sumner did so on this occasion, and I must confess 
that I was not edified. It seemed to me that he merely 
repeated, at greater length, the arguments which I had heard 
fifty times during the last thirty or forty days. I am told 
that the discourse is considered to be logical, and that it 
"reads" well. As regards the gist of it, or that result 
w^hich Mr. Sumner thinks to be desirable, I fully agree with 
him, as I think will all the civilized world before many years 
have passed. If international law be what the lawyers say it 
is, international law must be altered to suit the requirements 
of modern civilization. By those laws, as they are con- 
strued, everything is to be done for two nations at w^ar with 
each other; but nothing is to be done for all the nations of 
the world that can manage to maintain the peace. The 
belligerents are to be treated with every delicacy, as we 
treat our heinous criminals; but the poor neutrals are to 
be handled with unjust rigor, as we handle our unfortunate 
w^itnesses in order that the murderer may, if possible, be 
allowed to escape. Two men living in the same street 
choose to pelt each other across the way with brickbats, and 


the other inhabitants are denied the privileges of the foot- 
path lest they should interfere with the due prosecution of 
the quarrel ! It is, I suppose, the truth that we English 
have insisted on this right of search with more pertinacity 
than any other nation. Now in this case of Slidell and 
Mason we have felt ourselves aggrieved, and have resisted. 
Luckily for us there was no doubt of the illegality of the 
mode of seizure in this instance; but who will say that if 
Captain Wilkes had taken the ''Trent" into the harbor of 
New York, in order that the matter might have been ad- 
judged there, England would have been satisfied ? Our 
grievance was, that our mail-packet was stopped on the 
seas while doing its ordinary beneficent work. And our 
resolve is, that our mail-packets shall not be so stopped 
with impunity. As we were high handed in old days in 
insisting on this right of search, it certainly behoves us to 
see that we be just in our modes of proceeding. Would 
Captain Wilkes have been right, according to the existing 
hiw, if he had carried the "Trent" away to New York? If 
so, we ought not to be content with having escaped from 
such a trouble merely through a mistake on his part. Lord 
Russell says that the Trent's " voyage was an innocent 
voyage. That is the fact that should be established; not 
only that the voyage was, in truth, innocent, but that it 
should not be made out to be guilty by any international 
law. Of its real innocency all thinking men must feel them- 
selves assured. But it is not only of the seizure that we 
complain, but of the search also. An honest man is not to 
be handled by a policeman while on his daily work, lest by 
chance a stolen watch should be in his pocket. If inter- 
national law did give such power to all belligerents, inter- 
national law must give it no longer. In the beginning of 
these matters, as I take it, the object was when two power- 
ful nations were at war to allow the smaller fry of nations 
to enjoy peace and quiet, and to avoid, if possible, the gen- 
eral scuffle. Thence arose the position of a neutral. But 
it was clearly not fair that any such nation, having pro- 
claimed its neutrality, should, after that, fetch and carry for 
either of the combatants to the prejudice of the other. 
Hence came the right of search, in order that unjust false- 
hood might be prevented. But the seas were not then 
bridged with ships as they are now bridged, and the laws as 
written were, perhaps, then practical and capable of execu- 



tion. Xow they are impracticable and not capable of execu- 
tion. It will not, however, do for us to ignore thera if they 
exist ; and therefore they should be changed. It is, I think, 
manifest that our own pretensions as to the right of search 
must be modified after this. And now I trust I may finish 
my book without again naming Messrs. Slidell and Mason. 

The working of the Senate bears little or no analogy to 
that of our House of Lords. In the first place, the Senator's 
tenure there is not hereditary, nor is it for life. They are 
elected, and sit for six years. Their election is not made 
by the people of their States, but by the State legislature. 
The two Houses, for instance, of the State of Massachu- 
setts meet together and elect by their joint vote to the 
vacant seat for their State. It is so arranged that an 
entirely new Senate is not elected every sixth year. In- 
stead of this a third of the number is elected every second 
year. It is a common thing for Senators to be re-elected, 
and thus to remain in the House for twelve and eighteen 
years. In our Parliament the House of Commons has 
greater political strength and wider political action than 
the House of Lords; but in Congress the Senate counts 
for more than the House of Representatives in general 
opinion. Money bills must originate in the House of Rep- 
resentatives, but that is, I think, the only special privilege 
attaching to the public purse which the Lower House 
enjoys over the Upper. Amendments to such bills can be 
moved in the Senate; and all such bills must pass the 
Senate before they become law. I am inclined to think 
that individual members of the Senate work harder than 
individual Representatives. More is expected of them, 
and any prolonged absence from duty would be more 
remarked in the Senate than in the other House. In our 
Parliament this is reversed. The payment made to mem- 
bers of the Senate is 3000 dollars, or 600Z., per annum, and 
to a Representative, bOOl. per annum. To this is added 
certain mileage allowance for traveling backward and for- 
ward between their own State and the Capitol. A Senator, 
therefore, from California or Oregon has ]iot altogether a 
bad place ; but the halcyon days of mileage allowances 
are, I believe, soon to be brought to an end. It is quite 
within rule that the Senator of to-day should be the Repre- 
sentative of to-morrow. Mr. Crittenden, who was Senator 
from Kentucky, is now a member of the Lower House from 

debate' in congress. 


an electoral district in that State. John Quincy Adams 
went into the House of Representatives after he iiad been 
President of the United States. 

Divisions in the Senate do not take place as in the House 
of Kepresentatives. The ayes and noes are called for in 
the same way ; but if a poll be demanded, the Clerk of the 
House calls out the names of the different Senators, and 
makes out lists of the votes according to the separate 
answers given by the members. The mode is certainly 
more dignified than that pursued in the other House, where 
during the ceremony of voting the members look very much 
like sheep being passed into their pens. 

I heard two or three debates in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and that one especially in which, as I have said 
before, a chapter was read out of the Book of Joshua. 
The manner in which the Creator's name and the authority 
of His Word was banded about the house on that occasion 
did not strike me favorably. The question originally under 
debate was the relative power of the civil and military 
authority. Congress had desired to declare its ascendency 
over military matters, but the army and the Executive 
generally had demurred to this, — not with an absolute 
denial of the rights of Congress, but with those civil 
and almost silent generalities with which a really existing 
power so well knows how to treat a nominal power. The 
ascendant wife seldom tells her husband in so many words 
that his opinion in the house is to go for nothing; she 
merely resolves that such shall be the case, and acts accord- 
ingly. An observer could not but perceive that in those 
days Congress was taking upon itself the part, not exactly 
of an obedient husband, but of a husband vainly attempting 
to assert his supremacy. "I have got to learn," said one 
gentleman after another, rising indignantly on tl e floor, 
"that the military authority of our generals is above that of 
this House." And then one gentleman relieved the difficulty 
of the position by branching off into an eloquent discourse 
against slavery, and by causing a chapter to be read out of 
the Book of Joshua. 

On that occasion the gentleman's diversion seemed to 
have the effect of relieving the House altogether from the 
embarrassment of the original question ; but it was becoming 
manifest, day by day, that Congress was losing its ground, 
and that the army was becoming indifferent to its thunders ; 
VOL. II. — 4* 



that the army was doing so, and also that ministers were 
doing so. In the States, the President and his ministers 
are not in fact subject to any i)arliaraentary responsibility. 
The President may be impeached, but the member of an 
opposition does not always wish to have recourse to such 
an extreme measure as impeachment. The ministers arc 
not in the houses, and cannot therefore personally answer 
questions. Different large subjects, such as foreign affairs, 
financial affairs, and army matters, are referred to Stand- 
ing Committees in both Houses; and these committees have 
relations with the ministers. But they have no constitutional 
power over the ministers; nor have they the much more val- 
uable privilege of badgering a minister hither and thither by 
viva voce questions on every point of his administration. 
The minister sits safe in his office — safe there for the term 
of the existing Presidency if he can keep well with the Presi- 
dent ; and therefore, even under ordinary circumstances, does 
not care much for the printed or written messages of Con- 
gress. But under circumstances so little ordinary as those 
of 1861-62, while Washington was surrounded by hundreds 
of thousands of soldiers. Congress was absolutely impo- 
tent. Mr. Seward could snap his fingers at Congress, 
and he did so. He could not snap his fingers at the army; 
but then he could go with the army, could keep the army 
on his side by remaining on the same side witli the army; 
and this as it seemed he resolved to do. It must be under- 
stood that Mr. Seward was not Prime Minister. The 
President of the United States has no Prime Minister — 
or hitherto has had none. The Minister for Foreign Affairs 
has usually stood highest in the cabinet, and Mr. Seward, 
as holding that position, was not inclined to lessen its 
authority. He was gradually assuming for that position 
the prerogatives of a Premier, and men were beginning to 
talk of Mr. Seward's ministry. It may easily be under- 
stood that at such a time the powers of Congress would be 
undefined, and that ambitious members of Congress would 
rise and assert on the floor, with tliat peculiar voice of in- 
dignation so common in parliamentary debate, "that they 
had got to lear[j," etc. etc. etc. Jt seemed to me that the 
lesson which they had yet to learn was then in the process 
of being taught to them. They were anxious to be told all 
about the mischance at Bali's Bluff, but nobody would tell 
them anything about it. They wanted to know something 



of that blockade on the Potomac; but such knowledge wag 
not good for them. "Pack tliem up in boxes, and send 
them home," one military gentleman said to me. And I 
began to think that something of the kind would be done, 
if they made themselves troublesome. I quote here the 
manner in which their questions, respecting the affair at 
Ball's Bluff, were answered by the Secretary of War. 
"The Si)eaker laid before the House a letter from the 
Secretary of War, in which he says that he has the honor 
to acknowledge the receipt of the resolution adopted on the 
6th instant, to the effect that the answer of the Department 
to the resolution, passed on the second day of the session, 
is not responsive and satisfactory to the House, and request- 
ing a further answer. The Secretary has now to state tliat 
measures have been taken to ascertain who is responsible 
for the disastrous movement at Ball's Bluff, but that it is 
not compatible with the public interest to make known 
those measures at the present time." 

In truth the days are evil for any Congress of debaters, 
when a great army is in camp on every side of them. The 
people had called for the army, and there it was. It was 
of younger birth than Congress, and had thrown its elder 
brother considerably out of favor, as has been done before 
by many a new-born baby. If Congress could amuse itself 
with a few set speeches, and a field day or two, such as those 
afforded by Mr. Sumner, it might all be very well — provided 
that such speeches did not attack the army. Over and be- 
yond this, let them vote the supplies and have done with it. 
Was it probable that General McClellan should have time 
to answer questions about Ball's Bluff — and he with such a 
job of work on his hands ? Congress could of course vote 
what committees of military inquiry it might please, and 
might ask questions without end ; but we all know to what 
such questions lead, when the questioner has no power to 
force an answer by a penalty. If it might be possible to 
maintain the semblance of respect for Congress, without too 
much embarrassment to military secretaries, such semblance 
should be maintained ; but if Congress chose to make itself 
really disagreeable, then no semblance could be kept up any 
longer. That, as far as I could judge, was the position of 
Congress in the early months of 1862 ; and that, under ex- 
isting circumstances, was perhaps the only possible position 
that it could fill. 



All this to me was very melancholy. The streets of 
Washington were always full of soldiers. Mounted sen- 
tries stood at the corners of all the streets with drawn 
sabers — shivering in the cold and besmeared with mud. A 
military law came out that civilians might not ride quickly 
through the street. Military riders galloped over one at 
every turn, splashing about through the mud, and remind- 
ing one not unfrequently of John Gilpin. Why they always 
went so fast, destroying their horses' feet on the rough 
stones, I could never learn. But I, as a civilian, given as 
Englishmen are to trotting, and furnislied for the time with 
a nimble trotter, found myself harried from time to time by 
muddy men with sabers, who would dash after me, rattling 
their trappings, and bid me go at a slower pace. There 
is a building in Washington, built by private munificence 
and devoted, according to an inscription which it bears, 
"To the Arts." It has been turned into an army clothing 
establishment. The streets of Washington, night and day, 
were thronged with army wagons. All through the city 
military huts and military tents were to be seen, pitched 
out among the mud and in the desert places. Then there 
was the chosen locality of the teamsters and their mules and 
horses — a wonderful world in itself ; and all within the city ! 
Here horses and mules lived — or died — sub dio, with no 
slightest apology for a stable over them, eating their prov- 
ender from off the wagons to which they were fastened. 
Here, there, and everywhere large houses were occupied as 
the headquarters of some officer, or the bureau of some 
military official. At Washington and round Washington 
the army was everything. While this was so, is it to be con- 
ceived that Congress should ask questions about military 
matters with success ? 

All this, as I say, filled me with sorrow. I hate military 
belongings, and am disgusted at seeing the great affairs of 
a nation put out of their regular course. Congress to me is 
respectable. Parliamentary debates — be they ever so prosy, 
as with us, or even so rowdy, as sometimes they have been with 
our cousins across the water — engage my sympathies. I bow 
in'.vardly before a Speaker's chair, and look upon the elected 
representatives of any nation as the choice men of the age. 
Those muddy, clattering dragoons, sitting at the corners of 
the streets with dirty woolen comforters around their ears, 
were to me hideous in the extreme. But there at Washington, 



at the period of wliich I am writinp^, I was forced to ac- 
knowledge t!iat Congress was at a discount, and that the 
rough-shod generals were the men of the day. " Pack them 
up and send them in boxes to their several States." It 
would come to that, I thought, or to sometliing like that, 
unless Congress would consent to be submissive. " I have yet 
to learn — I" said indignant members, stamping with their 
feet on the floor of the House. One would have said that 
by that time the lesson might almost have been understood. 

Up to the period of this civil war Congress has certainly 
worked well for the United States. It might be easy to 
pick holes in it ; to show that some members have been 
corrupt, others quarrelsome, and others. again impractica- 
ble. But when we look at the circumstances under which 
it has been from year to year elected ; when we remember 
the position of the newly populated States from which the 
members have been sent, and the absence throughout the 
country of that old traditionary class of Parliament men on 
whom we depend in England ; when we think how recent 
has been the elevation in life of the majority of those who 
are and must be elected, it is impossible to deny them praise 
for intellect, patriotism, good sense, and diligence. They 
began but sixty years ago, and for sixty years Congress has 
fully answered the purpose for which it was established. 
With no antecedents of grandeur, the nation, with its Con- 
gress, has made itself one of the five great nations of the 
world. And what living English politician will say even 
now, with all its troubles thick upon it, that it is the smallest 
of the five? When I think of this, and remember the posi- 
tion in Europe which an American has been able to claim 
for himself, I cannot but acknowledge that Congress on the 
whole has been conducted with prudence, wisdom, and pa- 

The question now to be asked is this — Have the powers 
of Congress been sufficient, or are they sufficient, for the 
continued maintenance of free government in the States 
under the Constitution ? I think that the powers given by 
the existing Constitution to Congress can no longer be held 
to be sufficient; and that if the Union be maintained at all, 
it must be done by a closer assimilation of its congressional 
system to that of our Parliament. But to that matter I 
must allude again, when speaking of the existing Constitu- 
tion of the States. 




I HAVE seen various essays purporting to describe the 
causes of this civil war between the North and South ; but 
they have generally been written with the view of vindica- 
ting either one side or the other, and have spoken rather of 
causes which should, according to the ideas of their writers, 
have produced peace, than of those which did, in the course 
of events, actually produce war. This has been essentially 
the case with Mr. Everett, who in his lecture at New York, 
on the 4th of July, 1860, recapitulated all the good things 
which the North has done for the South, and who proved — • 
if he has proved anything — that the South should have cher- 
ished the North instead of hating it. And this was very 
much the case also with Mr. Motley in his letter to the 
London Times. That letter is good in its way, as is every- 
thing that comes from Mr. Motley, but it does not tell us 
why the war has existed. Why is it that eight millions of 
people have desired to separate themselves from a rich and 
mighty empire — from an empire which was apparently on 
its road to unprecedented success, and which had already 
achieved wealth, consideration, power, and internal well- 
being ? 

One would be glad to imagine, from the essays of Mr. 
Everett and of Mr. Motley, that slavery has had little or 
nothing to do with it. I must acknowledge it to be my 
opinion that slavery in its various bearings has been the 
single and necessary cause of the war ; that slavery being 
there in the South, this w^ar was only to be avoided by a 
voluntary division — secession voluntary both on the part of 
North and South; that in the event of such voluntary seces- 
sion being not asked for, or if asked for not conceded, revo- 
lution and civil war became necessary — were not to be 
avoided by any wisdom or care on the part of the North. 

The arguments used by both the gentlemen I have named 
prove very clearly that South Carolina and her sister States 



had no right to secede under the Constitution; that is to 
say, that it was not open to them peaceably to take their 
departure, and to refuse further allegiance to the President 
and Congress without a breach of the laws by which they 
were bound. For a certain term of years, namely, from 
1781 to 1787, the different States endeavored to make their 
way in the world simply leagued together by certain articles 
of confederation. It was declared that each State retained 
its sovereignty, freedom, and independence; and that the 
said States then entered severally into a firm league of 
friendship with each other for their common defense. There 
was no President, no Congress taking the place of our Par- 
liament, but simply a congress of delegates or ambassadors, 
two or three from each State, who were to act in accordance 
with the policy of their own individual States. It is well 
that this should be thoroughly understood, not as bearing on 
the question of the present war, but as showing that a loose 
confederation, not subversive of the separate independence 
of the States, and capable of being partially dissolved at 
the will of each separate State, was tried, and was found to 
fail. South Carolina took upon herself to act as she might 
have acted had that confederation remained in force ; but 
that confederation was an acknowledged failure. National 
greatness could not be achieved under it, and individual 
enterprise could not succeed under it. Then in lieu of that, 
by the united consent of the thirteen States, the present 
Constitution was drawn up and sanctioned, and to that every 
State bound itself in allegiance. In that Constitution no 
power of secession is either named or presumed to exist. 
The individual sovereignty of the States had, in the first 
instance, been thought desirable. The young republicans 
hankered after the separate power and separate name which 
each might then have achieved; but that dream had been 
found vain — and therefore the States, at the cost of some 
fond wishes, agreed to seek together for national power 
rather than run the risks entailed upon separate existence. 
Those of my readers who may be desirous of examining this 
matter for themselves, are referred to the Articles of Con- 
federation and the Constitution of the United States. The 
latter alone is clear enough on the subject, but is strength- 
ened by the former in proving that under the latter no 
State could possess the legal power of seceding. 

But they who created the Constitution, who framed the 



clauses, and gave to this terribly important work what 
wisdom they possessed, did not presume to think that it 
could be finaL The mode of altering the Constitution is 
arranged in the Constitution. Such alterations must be pro- 
posed either by two-thirds of both the houses of the general 
Congress, or by the legislatures of two-thirds of the States ; 
and must, when so proposed, be ratified by the legislatures 
of three-fourths of the States, (Article V.) There can, I 
think, be no doubt that any alteration so carried would 
be valid — even though that alteration should go to the 
extent of excluding one or any number of States from the 
Union. Any division so made would be made in accord- 
ance with the Constitution. 

South Carolina and the Southern States no doubt felt 
that they would not succeed in obtaining secession in this 
way, and therefore they sought to obtain the separation 
which they wanted by revolution — by revolution and rebel- 
lion, as Naples has lately succeeded in her attempt to change 
her political status ; as Hungary is looking to do ; as Poland 
has been seeking to do any time since her subjection; as the 
revolted colonies of Great Britain succeeded in doing in 
1776, whereby they created this great nation which is now 
undergoing all the sorrows of a civil war. The name of 
secession claimed by the South for this movement is a mis- 
nomer. If any part of a nationality or empire ever rebelled 
against the government established on behalf of the whole, 
South Carolina so rebelled when, on the 20th of November, 
1860, she put forth her ordinance of so-called secession; 
and the other Southern States joined in that rebellion when 
they followed her lead. As to that fact, there cannot, I 
think, much longer be any doubt in any mind. I insist on 
this especially, repeating perhaps unnecessarily opinions 
expressed in my first volume, because I still see it stated by 
English writers that the secession ordinance of South Caro- 
lina should have been accepted as a political act by the 
Government of the United States, It seems to me that no 
government can in this way accept an act of rebellion with- 
out declaring its own functions to be beyond its own power. 

But what if such rebellion be justifiable, or even reason- 
able ? what if the rebels have cause for their rebellion ? For 
no one will now deny that rebellion may be both reasonable 
and justifiable ; or that every subject in the land may be 
bound in duty to rebel. In such case the government will 



be held to have brought about its own punishment by its 
own fault. But as government is a wide affair, spreading 
itself gradually, and growing in virtue or in vice from 
small beginnings — from seeds slow to produce their fruits — 
it is much easier to discern the incidence of the punishment 
than the perpetration of the fault. Government goes astray 
by degrees, or sins by the absence of that wisdom which 
should teach rulers how to make progress as progress is 
made by those whom they rule. The fault may be abso- 
lutely negative and have spread itself over centuries ; may 
be, and generally has been, attributable to dull, good men ; 
but not the less does the punishment come at a blow. The 
rebellion exists and cannot be put down — will put down all 
that opposes it ; but the government is not the less bound 
to make its fight. That is the punishment that comes on 
governing men or on governing a people that govern not 
well or not wisely. 

As Mr. Motley says in the paper to which I have alluded, 
"Xo man, on either side of the Atlantic, with Anglo-Saxon 
blood in his veins, will dispute the right of a people, or of 
any portion of a people, to rise against oppression, to de- 
mand redress of grievances, and in case of denial of justice 
to take up arms to vindicate the sacred principle of liberty. 
Few Englishmen or Americans will deny that the source of 
government is the consent of the governed, or that every 
nation has the right to govern itself according to its will. 
When the silent consent is changed to fierce remonstrance, 
revolution is impending. The right of revolution is indis- 
putable. It is written on the whole record of our race. 
I3ritish and American history is made up of rebellion and 
revolution. Hampden, Pym, and Oliver Cromwell ; Wash- 
ington, Adams, and Jefferson, all were rebels." Then comes 
the question whether South Carolina and the Gulf States 
had so sufi'ered as to make rebellion on their behalf justifi- 
able or reasonable ; or if not, what cause had been strong 
enough to produce in them so strong a desire for secession, 
a desire which has existed for fully half the term through 
which the United States has existed as a nation, and so firm 
a resolve to rush into rebellion with the object of accom- 
plishing that which they deemed not to be accomplished on 
other terms ? 

It must, I think, be conceded that the Gulf States have 
VOL. ir. — 5 



not suffered at all by their connection with the Northern 
States ; that in lieu of any such suffering, they owe all 
their national greatness to the Northern States; that they 
have been lifted up, by the commercial energy of the Atlan- 
tic States and by the agricultural prosperity of the Western 
States, to a degree of national consideration and respect 
through the world at large which never could have belonged 
to them standing alone. I will not trouble my readers with 
statistics which few would care to follow ; but let any man 
of ordinary every-day knowledge turn over in his own mind 
his present existing ideas of the wealth and commerce of New 
York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburg, and Cincin- 
nati, and compare them with his ideas as to New Orleans, 
Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, Richmond, and Memphis. I do 
not name such towns as Baltimore and St. Louis, which stand 
in slave States, but which have raised themselves to pros- 
perity by Northern habits. If this be not sufficient, let him 
refer to population tables and tables of shipping and ton- 
nage. And of those Southern towns which I have named 
the commercial wealth is of Northern creation. The success 
of New Orleans as a city can be no more attributed to 
Louisianians than can that of the Havana to the men of 
Cuba, or of Calcutta to the natives of India. It has been 
a repetition of the old story, told over and over again 
through every century since commerce has flourished in the 
world ; the tropics can produce, but the men from the North 
shall sow and reap, and garner and enjoy. As the Crea- 
tor's work has progressed, this privilege has extended itself 
to regions farther removed and still farther from southern 
influences. If we look to Europe, we see that this has been 
so in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and the ' Netherlands ; 
in England and Scotland; in Prussia and in Russia; and 
the Western World shows us the same story. Where is 
now the glory of the Antilles ? where the riches of Mexico 
and the power of Peru ? They still produce sugar, guano, 
gold, cotton, coffee — almost whatever we may ask them — 
and will continue to do so while held to labor under suffi- 
cient restraint; but where are their men, where are their 
books, where is their learning, their art, their enterprise ? I 
say it with sad regret at the decadence of so vast a popula- 
tion; but I do say that the Southern States of America 
have not been able to keep pace with their Northern breth- 
ren ; that they have fallen behind in the race, and, feeling 



that the struggle is too much for them, have therefore re- 
solved to part. 

The reasons put forward by the South for secession have 
been trifling almost beyond conception. Northern tariffs 
have been the first, and perhaps foremost. Then there has 
been a plea that the national exchequer has paid certain 
bounties to New England fishermen, of which the South 
has paid its share, getting no part of such bounty in return. 
There is also a complaint as to the navigation laws — mean- 
ing, I believe, that the laws of the States increase the cost 
of coast traffic by forbidding foreign vessels to engage in 
the trade, thereby increasing also the price of goods and 
confining the benefit to the North, which carries on the 
coasting trade of the country, and doing only injury to the 
South, which has none of it. Then last, but not least, 
comes that grievance as to the Fugitive Slave Law. The law 
of the land as a whole — the law of the nation — requires the 
rendition from free States of all fugitive slaves. But the 
free States will not obey this law. They even pass State 
laws in opposition to it. " Catch your own slaves," they 
say, "and we will not hinder you; at any rate we will not 
hinder you officially. Of non-official hinderance you must 
take your chance. But we absolutely decline to employ our 
officers to catch your slaves." That list comprises, as I 
take it, the amount of Southern official grievances. Southern 
people will tell you privately of others. They will say that 
they cannot sleep happy in their beds, fearing lest insurrec- 
tion should be roused among their slaves. They will tell 
you of domestic comfort invaded by Northern falsehood. 
They will explain to you how false has been Mrs. Beecher 
Stowe. Ladies will fill your ears and your hearts too with 
tales of the daily efforts they make for the comfort of their 
"people," and of the ruin to those efforts which arises from 
the malice of the abolitionists. To all this you make some 
answer with your tongue that is hardly true — for in such a 
matter courtesy forbids the plain truth. But your heart 
within answers truly, "Madam, dear madam, your sorrow 
is great; but that sorrow is the necessary result of your 

As to those official reasons, in what fewest words I can 
use I will endeavor to show that they come to nothing. 
The tariff — and a monstrous tariff it then was — was the 
ground put forward by South Carolina for secession when 



General Jackson was President and Mr. Calhoun was the 
hero of the South. Calhoun bound himself and his State 
to take certain steps toward secession at a certain day if 
that tarilf were not abolished. The tariff was so absurd 
that Jackson and his government were forced to abandon it 
— would have abandoned it without any threat from Cal- 
houn ; but under that threat it was necessary that Calhoun 
should be defied. General Jackson proposed a compromise 
tariff, which was odious to Calhoun — not on its own behalf, 
for it yielded nearly all that was asked, but as being sub- 
versive of his desire for secession. The President, however, 
not only insisted on his compromise, but declared his pur- 
pose of preventing its passage into law unless Calhoun him- 
self, as Senator, would vote for it. And he also declared 
his purpose — not, we may presurue, officially — of hanging 
Calhoun, if he took that step toward secession which he had 
bound himself to take in the event of the tariff not being 
repealed. As a result of all this Calhoun voted for the 
compromise, and secession for the time was beaten down. 
That was in 1832, and may be regarded as the commence- 
ment of the secession movement. The tariff was then a con- 
venient reason, a ground to be assigned with a color of justice 
because it was a tariff admitted to be bad. But the tariff 
has been modified again and again since that, and the tariff 
existing when South Carolina seceded in 1860 had been 
carried by votes from South Carolina. The absurd Morrill 
tariff could not have caused secession, for it was passed, 
without a struggle, in the collapse of Congress occasioned 
by secession. 

The bounty to fishermen was given to create sailors, so 
that a marine might be provided for the nation. I need 
hardly show that the national benefit would accrue to the 
whole nation for whose protection such sailors were needed. 
Such a system of bounties may be bad ; but if so, it was 
bad for the whole nation. It did not affect South Carolina 
otherwise than it affected Illinois, Pennsylvania, or even 
New York. 

The navigation laws may also have been bad. According 
to my thinking such protective laws are bad ; but they cre- 
ated no special hardship on the South. By any such a 
theory of complaint all sectioDS of all nations have ground 
of complaint against any other section which receives spe- 
cial protection under any law. The drinkers of beer in 



England should secede because they pay a tax, whereas the 
consumers of paper pay none. The navigation laws of the 
States are no doubt injurious to the mercantile interests of 
the States. I at least have no doubt on the subject. But 
no one will think that secession is justified by the existence 
of a law of questionable expediency. Bad laws will go by 
the board if properly handled by those whom they pinch, 
as the navigation laws went by the board with us in 

As to that Fugitive Slave Law, it should be explained 
that the grievance has not arisen from the loss of slaves. 
I have heard it stated that South Carolina, up to the time 
of the secession, had never lost a slave in this way — that is, 
by Northern opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law; and 
that the total number of slaves escaping successfully into 
the Northern States, and there remaining through the non- 
operation of this law, did not amount to five in the year. 
It has not been a question of property, but of feeling. It 
has been a political point ; and the South has conceived — 
and probably conceived truly — that this resolution on the 
part of Northern States to defy the law with reference to 
slaves, even though in itself it might not be immediately 
injurious to Southern property, was an insertion of the nar- 
row end of the wedge. It was an action taken against 
slavery — an action taken by men of the North against their 
fellow-countrymen in the South, Under such circumstances, 
the sooner such countrymen should cease to be their fellows 
the better it would be for them. That, I take it, was the 
argument of the South, or at any rate that was its feeling. 

I have said that the reasons given for secession have been 
trifling, and among them have so estimated this matter of 
the Fugitive Slave Law. I mean to assert that the ground 
actually put forward is trifling — the loss, namely, of slaves 
to which the South has been subjected. But the true rea- 
son pointed at in this — the conviction, namely, that the 
North would not leave slavery alone, and would not allow 
it to remain as a settled institution — was by no means tri- 
fling. It has been this conviction on the part of the South 
that the North would not live in amity with slavery — would 
continue to fight it under this banner or under that, would 
still condemn it as disgraceful to men and rebuke it as im- 
pious before God — which has produced rebellion and civil 
war, and will ultimately produce that division for which the 
VOL. II. — 5* 



South is fighting and against which the North is fighting, 
and which, when accomplished, will give the North new 
wings, and will leave the South without pohtieal greatness 
or commercial success. 

Under such circumstances I cannot think that rebellion 
on the part of the South was justified by wrongs endured, 
or made reasonable by the prospect of wrongs to be inflicted. 
It is disagreeable, that having to live with a wife who is 
always rebuking one for some special fault ; but the outside 
world will not grant a divorce on that account, especially 
if the outside world is well aware that the fault so rebuked 
is of daily occurrence. " If you do not choose to be called 
a drunkard by your wife," the outside world will say, " it 
will be well that you should cease to drink." Ah ! but that 
habit of drinking, when once acquired, cannot easily be laid 
aside. The brain will not work; the organs of the body 
will not perform their functions ; the blood will not run. 
The drunkard must drink till he dies. All that may be a 
good ground for divorce, the outside world will say ; but 
the plea should be put in by the sober wife, not by the in- 
temperate husband. But what if the husband takes himself 
off without any divorce, and takes with him also his wife's 
property, her earnings, that on which he has lived and his 
children ? It may be a good bargain still for her, the out- 
side world will say ; but she, if she be a woman of spirit, 
will not willingly put up with such wrongs. The South has 
been the husband drunk with slavery, and the North has 
been the ill-used wife. 

Rebellion, as I have said, is often justifiable ; but it is, I 
think, never justifiable on the part of a paid servant of that 
government against which it is raised. We must, at any 
rate, feel that this is true of men in high places — as regards 
those men to whom by reason of their offices it should spe- 
cially belong to put down rebellion. Had Washington been 
the governor of Virginia, had Cromwell been a minister of 
Charles, had Garibaldi held a marshal's baton under the 
Emperor of Austria or the King of Naples, those men 
would have been traitors as well as rebels. Treason and 
rebellion may be made one under the law, but the mind will 
always draw the distinction. I, if I rebel against the 
Crown, am not on that account necessarily a traitor. A 
betrayal of trust is, I take it, necessary to treason. I am 
not aware that Jefferson Davis is a traitor ; but that Bu- 



chanan was a traitor admits, I tbiiilv, of no dou])t. Under 
liira, and with his connivance, the rebellion was allowed to 
make its way. Under him, and by his officers, arms and 
ships and men and money were sent away from those points 
at which it was known that they would be needed, if it were 
intended to put down the coming rebellion, and to those 
points at which it was known that they would be needed, if it 
were intended to foster the coming rebellion. But Mr. Bu- 
chanan had no eager feeling in favor of secession. He was 
not of that stuff of which are made Davis, and Toombs, 
and Slidell. But treason was easier to him than loyalty. 
Remonstrance was made to him, pointing out the misfor- 
tunes which his action, or want of action, would bring upon 
the country. " Not in my time," he answered. " It will 
not be in my time." So that he might escape unscathed 
out of the fire, this chief ruler of a nation of thirty millions 
of men was content to allow treason and rebellion to work 
their way I I venture to say so much here as showing how 
impossible it was that Mr. Lincoln's government, on its 
coming into office, should have given to the South, not what 
the South had asked, for the South had not asked, but what 
the South had taken, what the South had tried to filch. 
Had the South waited for secession till Mr. Lincoln had 
been in his chair, I could understand that England should 
sympathize with her. For myself I cannot agree to that 
scuttling of the ship by the captain on the day which was 
to see the transfer of his command to another officer. 

The Southern States were driven into rebellion by no 
wrongs inflicted on them ; but their desire for secession is 
not on that account matter for astonishment. It would 
have been surprising had they not desired secession. Seces- 
sion of one kind, a very practical secession, had already 
been forced upon them by circumstances. They had become 
a separate people, dissevered from the North by habits, 
morals, institutions, pursuits, and every conceivable differ- 
ence in their modes of thought and action. They still spoke 
the same language, as do Austria and Prussia ; but beyond 
that tie of language they had no bond but that of a meager 
political union in their Congress at Washington. Slavery, 
as it had been expelled from the North, and as it had come 
to be welcomed in the South, had raised such a wall of dif- 
ference that true political union was out of the question. It 
would be . juster, perhaps, to say that those physical charac- 



teristics of the South which had induced this welcoming of 

slavery, and those other characteristics of the North which 
had induced its expulsion, were the true causes of the differ- 
ence. For years and years this has been felt by both, and 
the fight has been going on. It has been continued for 
thirty years, and almost always to the detriment of the 
South. In 1845 Florida and Texas were admitted into 
the Union as slave States. I think that no State had then 
been admitted, as a free State, since Michigan, in 1836. 
In 1846 Iowa was admitted as a free State, and from that 
day to this Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon, and 
Kansas have been brought into the Union ; all as free 
States. The annexation of another slave State to the ex- 
isting Union had become, I imagine, impossible — unless 
such object were gained by the admission of Texas. We 
all remember that fight about Kansas, and what sort of a 
fight it was ! Kansas lies alongside of Missouri, a slave 
State, and is contiguous to no other State. If the free- 
soil party could, in the days of Pierce and Buchanan, carry 
the day in Kansas, it is not likely that they would be beaten 
on any new ground under such a President as Lincoln. We 
have all heard in Europe how Southern men have ruled in 
the White House, nearly from the days of Washington down- 
ward ; or if not Southern men. Northern men, such as Pierce 
and Buchanan, with Southern politics ; and therefore we 
have been taught to think that the South has been politically 
the winning party. They have, in truth, been the losing 
party as regards national power. But what they have so 
lost they have hitherto recovered by political address and 
individual statecraft. The leading men of the South have 
seen their position, and have gone to their work with the 
exercise of all their energies. They organized the Democratic 
party so as to include the leaders among the Northern pol- 
iticians. They never begrudged to these assistants a full 
share of the good things of official life. They have been 
aided by the fanatical abolitionism of the North by which 
the Republican party has been divided into two sections. 
It has been fashionable to be a Democrat, that is, to hold 
Southern politics, and unfashionable to be a Republican, or 
to hold an ti- Southern politics. In that way the South has 
lived and struggled on against the growing will of the pop- 
ulation ; but at last that will became too strong, and when 



Mr. Lincoln was' elected, the South knew that its day was 

It is not surprising that the South should have desired 
secession. It is not surprising that it should have prepared 
for it. Since the days of Mr. Calhoun its leaders have al- 
ways understood its position with a fair amount of political 
accuracy. Its only chance of political life lay in prolonged 
ascendency at Washington. The swelling crowds of Ger- 
mans, by whom the Western States were being filled, en- 
listed themselves to a man in the ranks of abolition. What 
was the acquisition of Texas against such hosts as these ? 
An evil day was coming on the Southern politicians, and it 
behooved them to be prepared. As a separate nation — a 
nation trusting to cotton, having in their hands, as they 
imagined, a monopoly of the staple of English manufacture, 
with a tariff of their own, and those rabid curses on the 
source of all their wealth no longer ringing in their ears, 
what might they not do as a separate nation? But. as a 
part of the Union, they were too weak to hold their' own if 
once their political finesse should fail them. That day came 
upon them, not unexpected, in 1860, and therefore they cut 
the cable. 

And all this has come from slavery. It is hard enough, 
for how could the South have escaped slavery ? How, at 
least, could the South have escaped slavery any time during 
these last thirty years ? And is it, moreover, so certain that 
slavery is an unmitigated evil, opposed to God's will, and 
producing all the sorrows which have ever been produced 
by tyranny and wrong ? It is here, after all, that one comes 
to the difficult question. Here is the knot which the fingers 
of men cannot open, and which admits of no sudden cutting 
with the knife. I have likened the slaveholding States to 
the drunken husband, and in so doing have pronounced 
judgment against them. As regards the state of the drunken 
man, his unfitness for partnership with any decent, diligent, 
well-to-do wife, his ruined condition, and shattered pros- 
pects, the simile, I think, holds good. But I refrain from 
saying that as the fault was originally with the drunkard in 
that he became such, so also has the fault been with the 
slave States. At any rate I refrain from so saying here, on 
this page. That the position of a slaveowner is terribly 
prejudicial, not to the slave, of whom I do not here speak, 
but to the owner j of so much at any rate I feel assured. 



That tlie position is therefore criminal and damnable, I am 

not now disposed to take upon myself to assert. 

The question of slavery in America cannot be handled 
fully and fairly by any one who is afraid to go back upon 
the subject, and take its whole history since one man first 
claimed and exercised the right of forcing labor from another 
man. I certainly am afraid of any such task ; but I believe 
that there has been no period yet, since the world's work 
began, when such a practice has not prevailed in a large 
portion, probably in the largest portion, of the world's work 
fields. As civilization has made its progress, it has been 
the duty and delight, as it has also been the interest of the 
men at the top of affairs, not to lighten the work of the men 
below, but so to teach them that they should recognize the 
necessity of working without coercion. Emancipation of 
serfs and thrals, of bondsmen and slaves, has always meant 
this — that men having been so taught, should then work 
without coercion. 

In talking or writing of slaves, we always now think of 
the negro slave. Of us Englishmen it must at any rate be 
acknowledged that we have done what in us lay to induce 
him to recognize this necessity for labor. At any rate we 
acted on the presumption that he would do so, and gave 
him his liberty throughout all our lands at a cost which has 
never yet been reckoned up in pounds, shillings, and pence. 
The cost never can be reckoned up, nor can the gain which 
we achieved in purging ourselves from the degradation and 
demoralization of such employment. We come into court 
with clean hands, having done all that lay with us to do to 
put down slavery both at home and abroad. But when we 
enfranchised the negroes, we did so with the intention, at 
least, that they should work as free men. Their share of the 
bargain in that respect they have declined to keep, wherever 
starvation has not been the result of such resolve on their 
part ; and from the date of our emancipation, seeing the 
position which the negroes now hold with us, the Southern 
States of America have learned to regard slavery as a 
permanent institution, and have taught themselves to re- 
gard it as a blessing, and not as a curse. 

Negroes were first taken over to America because the 
white man could not work under the tropical heats, and 
because the native Indian would not work. The latter 
people has been, or soon will be, exterminated — polished 



off the face of creation, as the Americans say — which fate 
must, I should say, in the long run attend all non-working 
people. As the soil of the world is required for increasing 
population, the non-working people must go. And so the 
Indians have gone. The negroes, under compulsion, did 
work, and work well ; and under their hands vast regions 
of the western tropics became fertile gardens. The fact 
that they were carried up into northern regions which from 
their nature did not require such aid, that slavery prevailed 
in New York and Massachusetts, does not militate against 
my argument. The exact limits of any great movement 
will not be bounded by its purpose. The heated wax which 
you drop on your letter spreads itself beyond the necessities 
of your seal. That these negroes would not have come to 
the Western World without compulsion, or having come, 
would not have worked without compulsion, is, I imagine, 
acknowledged by all. That they have multiplied in the 
Western World and have there become a race happier, at 
any rate in all the circumstances of their life, than their 
still untamed kinsmen in Africa, must also be acknowledged. 
Who, then, can dare to wish that all that has been done by 
the negro immigration should have remained undone ? 

The name of slave is odious to me. If I know myself I 
would not own a negro though he could sweat gold on my 
behoof. I glory in that bold leap in the dark which Eng- 
land took with regard to her own West Indian slaves. But 
I do not see the less clearly the difficulty of that position 
in which the Southern States have been placed ; and I will 
not call them wicked, impious, and abominable, because 
they now hold by slavery, as other nations have held by it 
at some period of their career. It is their misfortune that 
they must do so now — now, when so large a portion of the 
world has thrown off the system, spurning as base and pro- 
fitless all labor that is not free. It is their misfortune, for 
henceforth they must stand alone, with small rank among 
the nations, whereas their brethren of the North will still 
"flame in the forehead of the morning sky." 

When the present Constitution of the United States was 
written — the merit of which must probably be given mainly 
to Madison and Hamilton, Madison finding the French 
democratic element, and Hamilton the English conservative 
element — this question of slavery was doubtless a great 
trouble. The word itself is not mentioned in the Constitu- 



tion. It speaks not of a slave, but of a " person held to 
service or labor." It neither sanctions nor forbids slavery. 
It assumes no power in the matter of slavery; and under 
it, at the present moment, all Congress voting together, 
with the full consent of the legislatures of thirty-three 
States, could not constitutionally put down slavery in the 
remaining thirty-fourth State. In fact the Constitution 
ignored the subject. 

But, nevertheless, Washington, and Jefferson from whom 
Madison received his inspiration, were opposed to slavery. 
I do not know that Washington ever took much action in 
the matter, but his expressed opinion is on record. But 
Jefferson did so throughout his life. Before the Declara- 
tion of Independence he endeavored to make slavery illegal 
in Virginia. In this he failed, but long afterward, when 
the United States was a nation, he succeeded in carrying a 
law by which the further importation of slaves into any of 
the States was prohibited after a certain year — 1820. When 
this law was passed, the framers of it considered that the 
gradual abolition of slavery would be secured. Up to that 
period the negro population in the States had not been 
self-maintained. As now in Cuba, the numbers had been 
kept up by new importations, and it was calculated that 
the race, when not recruited from Africa, would die out. 
That this calculation was wrong we now know, and the 
breeding-grounds of Yirginia have been the result. 

At that time there were no cotton fields. Alabama and 
Mississippi were outlying territories. Louisiana had been 
recently purchased, but was not yet incorporated as a State. 
Florida still belonged to Spain, and was all but unpopu- 
lated. Of Texas no man had yet heard. Of the slave 
States, Yirginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia were 
alone wedded to slavery. Then the matter might have 
been managed. But under the Constitution as it had been 
framed, and with the existing powers of the separate States, 
there was not even then open any way by which slavery 
could be abolished other than by the separate action of the 
States ; nor has there been any such way opened since. 
With slavery these Southern States have grown and be- 
come fertile. The planters have thriven, and the cotton 
fields have spread themselves. And then came emancipa- 
tion in the British islands. Under such circumstances and 



with sucli a lesson, could it be expected that the Southern 
States should learn to love abolition ? 

It is vain to say that slavery has not caused secession, 
and that slavery has not caused the war. That, and that 
only, has been the real cause of this conflict, though other 
small collateral issues may now be put forward to bear the 
blame. Those other issues have arisen from this question 
of slavery, and are incidental to it and a part of it. Massa- 
chusetts, as we all know, is democratic in its tendencies, 
but South Carolina is essentially aristocratic. This differ- 
ence has come of slavery. A slave country, which has pro- 
gressed far in slavery, must be aristocratic in its nature — 
aristocratic and patriarchal. A large slaveowner from 
Georgia may call himself a democrat, may think that he 
reveres republican institutions, and may talk with American 
horror of the thrones of Europe ; but he must in his heart 
be an aristocrat. We, in England, are apt to speak of re- 
publican institutions, and of universal suffrage, which is 
perhaps the chief of them, as belonging equally to all the 
States. In South Carolina there is not and has not been 
any such thing. The electors for the President there are 
•Qhosen not by the people, but by the legislature ; and tlie 
rotes for the legislature are limited by a high property 
qualification. A high property qualification is required 
for a member of the House of Kepresentatives in South 
Carolina; four hundred freehold acres of land and ten 
negroes is one qualification. Five hundred pounds clear 
of debt is another qualification ; for, where a sum of money 
is thus named, it is given in English money. Russia and 
England are not more unlike in their political and social 
feelings than are the real slave States and the real free-soil 
States. The gentlemen from one and from the other side 
of the line have met together on neutral ground, and have 
discussed political matters without flying frequently at each 
other's throats, while the great question on which they dif- 
fered was allowed to slumber. But the awakening has been 
coming by degrees, and now the South had felt that it was 
come. Old John Brown, who did his best to create a ser- 
vile insurrection at Harper's Ferry, has been canonized 
through the North and West, to the amazement and horror 
of the South. The decision in the "Dred Scott" case, 
given by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
TJnited States, has been received with shouts of execration 
VOL. IT. — 6 



throuj?h the North and West. The Southern gentry have 
been Uiiele-Tomuied into madness. It is no light thing to 
be told daily by your fellow-citizens, by your fellow-repre- 
sentatives, by your fellow-senators, that you are guilty of 
the one damning sin that cannot be forgiven. All this they 
could partly moderate, partly rebuke, and partly bear as 
long as political power remained in their hands; but they 
have gradually felt that that was going, and were prepared 
to cut the rope and run as soon as it w^as gone. 

Such, according to my ideas, have been the causes of the 
war. But I cannot defend the South. As long as they 
could be successful in their schemes for holding the political 
power of the nation, they were prepared to hold by the 
nation. Immediately those schemes failed, they were pre- 
pared to throw the nation overboard. In this there has 
undoubtedly been treachery as well as rebellion. Had these 
politicians been honest — though the political growth of 
Washington has hardly admitted of political honesty — but 
had these politicians been even ordinarily respectable in 
their dishonesty, they would have claimed secession openly 
before Congress, while yet their own President was at the 
White House. Congress would not have acceded. Con- 
gress itself could not have acceded under the Constitution ; 
but a way would have been found, had the Southern States 
been persistent in their demand. A way, indeed, has been 
found ; but it has lain through fire and water, through blood 
and ruin, through treason and theft, and the downfall of 
national greatness. Secession will, I think, be accomplished, 
and the Southern Confederation of States will stand some- 
thing higher in the world than Mexico and the republics of 
Central America. Her cotton monopoly will have vanished, 
and her wealth will have been wasted. 

I think that history will agree with me in saying that the 
Northern States had no alternative but war. What conces- 
sion could they make ? Could they promise to hold their 
peace about slavery ? And had they so promised, would the 
South have believed them? They might have conceded 
secession ; that is, they might have given all that would 
have been demanded. But what individual chooses to yield 
to such demands. And if not an individual, then what 
people will do so? But, in truth, they could not have 
yielded all that was demanded. Had secession been granted 
to South Carolina and Georgia, Virginia would have been 



coerced to join those States by the nature of her property, 
and with Virginia Maryland would have gone, and Wash- 
ington, the capital. What may be the future line of division 
between the Xorth and the South, I will not pretend to say; 
but that line will probably be dictated by the North. It 
may still be hoped that Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, and 
Maryland will go with the North, and be rescued from 
slavery. But had secession been yielded, had the prestige 
of success fallen to the lot of the South, those States must 
have become Southern. 

While on the subject of slavery — for in discussing the 
cause of the war, slavery is the subject that must be dis- 
cussed — I cannot forbear to say a few words about the 
negroes of the North American States. The Republican 
party of the North is divided into two sections, of which 
one may be called abolitionist, and the other non-abolition- 
ist. Mr. Lincoln's government presumes itself to belong to 
the latter, though its tendencies toward abolition are very 
strong. The abolition party is growing in strength daily. 
It is but a short time since Wendell Phillips could not lec- 
ture in Boston without a guard of police. Now, at this 
moment of my writing, he is a popular hero. The very men 
who, five years since, were accustomed to make speeches, 
strong as words could frame them, against abolition, are 
now turning round, and, if not preaching abolition, are 
patting the backs of those who do so. I heard one of Mr. 
Lincoln's cabinet declare old John Brown to be a hero and 
a martyr. All the Protestant Germans are abolitionists — • 
and they have become so strong a political element in the 
country that many now declare that no future President can 
be elected without their aid. The object is declared boldly. 
No long political scheme is asked for, but instant abolition 
is wanted; abolition to be declared while yet the war is 
raging. Let the slaves of all rebels be declared free ; and 
all slaveowners in the seceding States are rebels ! 

One cannot but ask what abolition means, and to what it 
would lead. Any ordinance of abolition now pronounced 
would not effect the emancipation of the slaves, but might 
probably effect a servile insurrection. I will not accuse 
those who are preaching this crusade of any desire for so 
fearful a scourge on the land. They probably calculate that 
an edict of abolition once given would be so much done 
toward the ultimate winning of the battle. They are making 



their hay while their sun shines. But if they could emanci- 
pate those four million slaves, in what way would they then 
treat them? How would they feed them? In what way 
would they treat the ruined owners of the slaves, and the 
acres of land which would lie uncultivated? Of all subjects 
with which a man may be called on to deal, it is the most 
difficult. But a New England abolitionist talks of it as 
though no more were required than an open path for his 
humanitarian energies. **I could arrange it all to-morrow 
morning," a gentleman said to me, who is well known for his 
zeal in this cause ! 

Arrange it all to-morrow morning — abolition of slavery 
having become a fact during the night 1 I should not envy 
that gentleman his morning's work. It was bad enough 
with us ; but what were our numbers compared with those of 
the Southern States ? We paid a price for the slaves, but 
no price is to be paid in this case. The value of the prop- 
erty would probably be lowly estimated at 100/, a piece for 
men, women, and children, or 4,000,000/. sterling for the 
whole population. They form the wealth of the South ; and 
if they were bought, what should be done with them ? They 
are like children. Every slaveowner in the country — every 
man who has had aught to do with slaves ^will tell the 
same story. In Maryland and Delaware are men who hate 
slavery, who would be only too happy to enfranchise their 
slaves ; but the negroes who have been slaves are not fit for 
freedom. In many cases, practically, they cannot be enfran- 
chised. Give them their liberty, starting them well in the 
world at what expense you please, and at the end of six 
months they will come back upon your hands for the means 
of support. Everything must be done for thefu. They 
expect food and clothes, and instruction as to every simple 
act of life, as do children. The negro domestic servant is 
handy at his own work ; no servant more so ; but he cannot 
go beyond that. He does not comprehend the object and 
purport of continued industry. If he have money, he will 
play with it — he will amuse himself with it. If he have 
none, he will amuse himself without it. His work is like a 
school boy's task; he knows it must be done, but never 
comprehends that the doing of it is the very end and essence 
of his life. He is a child in all things, and the extent of 
prudential wisdom to which he ever attains is to disdain 
emancipation and cling to the security of his bondage. It 



is true enough that slavery has been a curse. Whatever 
may have been its effect on the negroes, it has been a deadly 
curse upon the white masters. 

The preaching of abolition during the war is to me either 
the deadliest of sins or the vainest of follies. Its only im- 
mediate result possible would be servile insurrection. That 
is so manifestly atrocious, a wish for it would be so hellish, 
that I do not presume the preachers of abolition to entertain 
it. But if that be not meant, it must be intended that an 
act of emancipation should be carried throughout the slave 
States — either in their separation from the North, or after 
their subjection and consequent reunion with the North. 
As regards the States while in secession, the North cannot 
operate upon their slaves any more than England can operate 
on the slaves of Cuba. But if a reunion is to be a precursor 
of emancipation, surely that reunion should be first effected. 
A decision in the Northern and Western mind on such a 
subject cannot assist in obtaining that reunion, but must 
militate against the practicability of such an object. This 
is so well understood that Mr. Lincoln and his government 
do not dare to call themselves abolitionists.* 

Abolition, in truth, is a political cry. It is the banner 
of defiance opposed to secession. As the differences between 
the North and South have grown with years, and have 
swelled to the proportions of national antipathy. Southern 
nullification has amplified itself into secession, and Northern 
free-soil principles have burst into this growth of abolition. 
Men have not calculated the results. Charming pictures 
are drawn for you of the negro in a state of Utopian bliss, 
owning his own hoe and eating his own hog; in a paradise, 
where everything is bought and sold, except his wife, his 
little ones, and himself. But the enfranchised negro has 
always thrown away his hoe, has eaten any man's hog but 
his own, and has too often sold his daughter for a dollar 
when any such market has been open to him. 

I confess that this cry of abolition has been made pecu- 
liarly displeasing to me by the fact that the Northern aboli- 

* President Lincoln has proposed a plan for the emancipation of 
slaves in the border States, which gives compensation to the owners. 
His doing so proves that he regards present emancipation in the 
Gulf States as quite out of the question. It also proves that he 
looks forward to the recovery of the border States for the North, 
but that he does not look forward to the recovery of the Gulf States. 
VOL. IL — 6* 



tionist is by no means willing to give even to the negro who 
is already free that position in the world which alone might 
tend to raise him in the scale of human beings — if anything 
can so raise liini and make him fit for freedom. The aboli- 
tionists hold that the negro is the white man's equal. I do 
not. I see, or think that I see, that the negro is the white 
man's inferior through laws of nature. That he is not men- 
tally fit to cope with white men — I speak of the full-blooded 
negro — and that he must fill a position simply servile. But 
the abolitionist declares him to be the white man's equal. 
But yet, when he has him at his elbow, he treats him with a 
scorn which even the negro can hardly endure. I will give 
him political equality, but not social equality, says the abo- 
litionist. But even in this he is untrue. A black man may 
vote in New York, but he cannot vote under the same cir- 
cumstances as a white man. He is subjected to qualifica- 
tions which in truth debar him from the poll. A white man 
TOtes by manhood suffrage, providing he has been for one 
year an inhabitant of his State; but a man of color must 
have been for three years a citizen of the State, and must own 
a property qualification of 50/. free of debt. But political 
equality is not what such men want, nor indeed is it social 
equality. It is social tolerance and social sympathy, and these 
are denied to the negro. An American abolitionist would 
not sit at table with a negro. He might do so in England at 
the house of an English duchess, but in his own country the 
proposal of such a companion would be an insult to him. 
He will not sit with him in a public carriage, if he can avoid 
it. In New York I have seen special street cars for colored 
people. The abolitionist is struck with horror when he 
thinks that a man and a brother should be a slave ; but when 
the man and the brother has been made free, he is regarded 
with loathing and contempt. All this I cannot see with 
equanimity. There is falsehood in it from the beginning to 
the end. The slave, as a rule, is well treated — gets all he 
wants and almost all he desires. The free negro, as a rule, 
is ill treated, and does not get that consideration which 
alone might put him in the worldly position for which his 
advocate declares him to be fit. It is false throughout, this 
preaching. The negro is not the white man's equal by 
nature. But to the free negro in the Northern States this 
inequality is increased by the white man's hardness to him. 
In a former book which I wrote some few years since, I 



expressed an opinion as to the probable destiny of this race 
in the West Indies. I will not now go over that question 
again. I then divided the inhabitants of those islands into 
three classes — the white, the black, and the colored, taking 
a nomenclature which I found there prevailing. By colored 
men I alluded to mulattoes, and all those of mixed European 
and African blood. The word "colored," in the States, 
seems to apply to the whole negro race, whether full-blooded 
or half-blooded. I allude to this now because I wish to 
explain that, in speaking of what I conceive to be the intel- 
lectual inferiority of the negro race, I allude to those of pure 
negro descent — or of descent so nearly pure as to make the 
negro element manifestly predominant. In the West Indies, 
where I had more opportunity of studying the subject, I 
always believed myself able to tell a negro from a colored 
man. Indeed, the classes are to a great degree distinct 
there, the greater portion of the retail trade of the country 
being in the hands of the colored people. But in the States 
I have been able to make no such distinction. One sees 
generally neither the rich yellow of the West Indian mulatto 
nor the deep oily black of the West Indian negro. The pre- 
vailing hue is a dry, dingy brown — almost dusty in its dry- 
ness. I have observed but little difference made between the 
negro and the half-caste — and no difference in the actual 
treatment. I have never met in American society any man 
or woman in whose veins there can have been presumed to 
be any taint of African blood. In Jamaica they are daily 
to be found in society. 

Every Englishman probably looks forward to the accom- 
plishment of abolition of slavery at some future day. I feel 
as sure of it as I do of the final judgment. When or how 
it shall come, I will not attempt to foretell. The mode which 
seems to promise the surest success and the least present or 
future inconvenience, would be an edict enfranchising all 
female children born after a certain date, and all their chil- 
dren. Under such an arrangement the negro population 
would probably die out slowly — very slowly. What might 
then be the fate of the cotton fields of the Gulf States, who 
shall dare to say ? It may be that coolies from India and 
from China will then have taken the place of the negro 
there, as they probably will have done also in Guiana and 
the West Indies. 




Though I had felt Washington to be disagreeable as a 
city, yet I was almost sorry to leave it when the day of my 
departure came. I had allowed myself a month for my so- 
journ in the capital, and I had stayed a month to the day. 
Then came the trouble of packing up, the necessity of call- 
ing on a long list of acquaintances one after another, the 
feeling that, bad as Washington might be, I might be going 
to places that were worse, a conviction that 1 should get 
beyond the reach of my letters, and a sort of affection which 
I had acquired for my rooms. My landlord, being a colored 
man, told me that he was sorry I was going. Would I not 
remain ? Would I come back to him ? Had I been comfort- 
able ? Only for so and so or so and so, he would have done 
better for me. No white American citizen, occupying the 
position of landlord, would have condescended to such com- 
fortable words. I knew the man did not in truth want me 
to stay, as a lady and gentleman were waiting to go in the 
moment I went out ; but I did not the less value the assur- 
ance. One hungers and thirsts after such civil words among 
American citizens of this class. The clerks and managers 
at hotels, the officials at railway stations, the cashiers at 
banks, the women in the shops — ah I they are the worst of 
all. An American woman who is bound by her position to 
serve you — who is paid in some shape to supply your wants, 
whether to sell you a bit of soap or bring you a towel in 
your bed-room at a hotel — is, I think, of all human creatures, 
the most insolent. I certainly had a feeling of regret at 
parting with my colored friend — and some regret also as 
regards a few that were white. 

As I drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, through the slush 
and mud, and saw, perhaps for the last time, those wretch- 
edly dirty horse sentries who had refused to allow me to 
trot through the streets, I almost wished that I could see 
more of them. How absurd they looked, with a whole 
kit of rattletraps strapped on their horses' backs behind 
them — blankets, coats, canteens, coils of rope, and, always 



at the top of everything else, a tin pot ! No doubt these 
things are all necessary to a mounted sentry, or they would 
not have been there ; but it always seemed as though the 
horse had been loaded gipsy-fashion, in a manner that I 
may perhaps best describe as higgledy-piggledy, and that 
there was a want of military precision in the packing. The 
man would have looked more graceful, and the soldier more 
warlike, had the pannikin been made to assume some rigidly 
fixed position instead of dangling among the ropes. The 
drawn saber, too, never consorted well with the dirty out- 
side woolen wrapper which generally hung loose from the 
man's neck. Heaven knows, I did not begrudge him his 
comforter in that cold weather, or even his long, uncombed 
shock of hair; but I think he might have been made more 
spruce, and I am sure that he could not have looked more 
uncomfortable. As I went, however, I felt for him a sort of 
affection, and wished in my heart of hearts that he might soon 
be enabled to return to some more congenial employment. 

I went out by the Capitol, and saw that also, as I then 
believed, for the last time. With all its faults it is a great 
building, and, though unfinished, is effective ; its very size 
and pretension give it a certain majesty. What will be the 
fate of that vast pile, and of those other costly public edi- 
fices at Washington, should the South succeed wholly in 
their present enterprise ? If Virginia should ever become 
a part of the Southern republic, Washington cannot remain 
the capital of the Northern republic. In such case it would 
be almost better to let Maryland go also, so that the future 
destiny of that unfortunate city may not be a source of 
trouble, and a stumbling-block of opprobrium. Even if 
Yirginia be saved, its position will be most unfortunate. 

I fancy that the railroads in those days must have been 
doing a very prosperous business. From New York to 
Philadelphia, thence on to Baltimore, and again to Washing- 
ton, I had found the cars full ; so full that sundry passengers 
could not find seats. Now, on my return to Baltimore, they 
were again crowded. The stations were all crowded. Lug- 
gage trains were going in and out as fast as the rails could 
carry them. Among the passengers almost half were sol- 
diers. I presume that these were men going on furlough, or 
on special occasions ; for the regiments were of course not 
received by ordinary passenger trains. About this time a 
return was called for by Congress of all the moneys paid by 


the government, on account of the army, to the lines be- 
tween New York and "Washington. Whether or no it was 
ever furnished I did not hear; but it was openly stated that 
the colonels of regiments received large gratuities from cer- 
tain railway companies for the regiments passing over their 
lines. Charges of a similar nature were made against offi- 
cers, contractors, quartermasters, paymasters, generals, and 
cabinet ministers. I am not prepared to say that any of 
these men had dirty hands. It w^as not for me to make in- 
quiries on such matters. But the continuance and univer- 
sality of the accusations were dreadful. When everybody 
is suspected of being dishonest, dishonesty almost ceases to 
be regarded as disgraceful. 

I will allude to a charge made against one member of 
the cabinet, because the circumstances of the case were all 
acknowledged and proved. This gentleman employed his 
wife's brother-in-law to buy ships, and the agent so employed 
pocketed about 20,000Z. by the transaction in six months. 
The excuse made was that this profit was in accordance 
with the usual practice of the ship-dealing trade, and that 
it was paid by the owners who sold, and not by the govern- 
ment which bought. But in so vast an agency the ordinary 
rate of profit on such business became an enormous sura ; 
and the gentleman who made the plea must surely have 
understood that that 20,000/. was in fact paid by the gov- 
ernment. It is the purchaser, and not the seller, who in 
fact pays all such fees. The question is this : Should the 
government have paid so vast a sum for one man's work for 
six months? And if so, was it well that that sum should 
go into the pocket of a near relative of the minister whose 
special business it was to protect the government ? 

American private soldiers are not pleasant fellow-travelers. 
They are loud and noisy, and swear quite as much as the 
army could possibly have sworn in Flanders. They are, 
moreover, very dirty; and each man, with his long, thick 
great-coat, takes up more space than is intended to be allot- 
ted to him. Of course I felt that if I chose to travel in a coun- 
try while it had such a piece of business on its hands, I could 
not expect that everything should be found in exact order. 
The matter for wonder, perhaps, was that the ordinary affairs 
of life were so little disarranged, and that any traveling at 
all was practicable. Nevertheless, the fact remains that 
American private soldiers are not agreeable fellow-travelers. 



It was my present intention to go due west across the 
country into Missouri, skirting, as it were, the line of the 
war which had now extended itself from the Atlantic across 
into Kansas. There were at this time three main armies — 
that of the Potomac, as the army of Virginia was called, 
of which McClellan held the command ; that of Kentucky, 
under General Buell, who was stationed at Louisville on 
the Ohio ; and the army on the Mississippi, which had been 
under Fremont, and of which General Halleck now held the 
command. To these were opposed the three rebel armies 
of Beauregard, in Virginia; of Johnston, on the borders of 
Kentucky and Tennessee; and of Price, in Missouri. There 
was also a fourth army in Kansas, west of Missouri, under 
General Hunter; and while I was in Washington another 
general, supposed by some to be the "coming man," was 
sent down to Kansas to participate in General Hunter's 
command. This was General Jim Lane, who resigned a 
seat in the Senate in order that he might undertake this 
military duty. When he reached Kansas, having on his 
route made sundry violent abolition speeches, and pro- 
claimed his intention of sweeping slavery out of the South- 
western States, he came to loggerheads with his superior 
officer respecting their relative positions. 

On my arrival at Baltimore, I found the place knee-deep 
in mud and slush and half-melted snow. It was then rain- 
ing hard, — raining dirt, not water, as it sometimes does. 
Worse weather for soldiers" out in tents could not be im- 
agined — nor for men who were not soldiers, but who, 
nevertheless, were compelled to leave their houses. I only 
remained at Baltimore one day, and then started again, 
leaving there the greater part of my baggage. I had a 
vague hope — a hope which I hardly hoped to realize — 
that I might be able to get through to the South. At any 
rate I made myself ready for the chance by making my 
traveling impediments as light as possible, and started from 
Baltimore, prepared to endure all the discomfort wiiich 
lightness of baggage entails. My route lay over the Alle- 
ghanies, by Pittsburg and Cincinnati, and my first stopping 
place was at Harrisburg, the political capital of Pennsyl- 
vania. There is nothing special at Harrisburg to arrest 
any traveler; but the local legislature of the State was 
then sitting, and I was desirous of seeing the Senate and 



Representatives of at any rate one State, during its period 
of vitality. 

In Pennsylvania the General Assembly, as the joint legis- 
lature is called, sits every year, commencing their work early 
in January, and continuing till it be finished. The usual 
period of sitting seems to be about ten weeks. In the 
majority of States, the legislature only sits every other year. 
In this State it sits every year, and the Representatives are 
elected annually. The Senators are elected for three years, 
a third of the body being chosen each year. The two 
chambers were ugly, convenient rooms, arranged very much 
after the fashion of the halls of Congress at Washington. 
Each member had his own desk and his own chair. They 
were placed in the shape of a horseshoe, facing the chair- 
man, before whom sat three clerks. In neither House did 
I hear any set speech. The voices of the Speaker and of 
the Clerks of the Houses were heard more frequently than 
those of the members ; and the business seemed to be done 
in a dull, serviceable, methodical manner, likely to be use- 
ful to the country, and very uninteresting to the gentlemen 
engaged. Indeed at Washington also, in Congress, it 
seemed to me that there was much less of set speeches 
than in our House of Commons. With us there are certain 
men whom it seems impossible to put down, and by whom 
the time of Parliament is occupied from night to night, with 
advantage to no one and with satisfaction to none but them- 
selves. I do not think that the evil prevails to the same 
extent in America, either in Congress or in the State legis- 
latures. As regards Washington, this good result may be 
assisted by a salutary practice which, as I was assured, 
prevails there. A member gets his speech printed at the 
government cost, and sends it down free by post to his con- 
stituents, without troubling either the House with hearing 
it or himself with speaking it. I cannot but think that 
the practice might be copied with success on our side of the 

The appearance of the members of the legislature of 
Pennsylvania did not impress me very favorably. I do not 
know why we should wish a legislator to be neat in his 
dress, and comely, in some degree, in his personal appear- 
ance. There is no good reason, perhaps, why they should 
have cleaner shirts than their outside brethren, or have 
been more particular in the use of soap and water, and 



brush and comb. But I have an idea that if ever our own 
Parliament becomes dirty, it will lose its prestige; and I 
cannot but think that the Parliament of Pennsylvania would 
gain an accession of dignity by some slightly increased de- 
votion to the Graces. I saw in the two Houses but one 
gentleman (a Senator) who looked like a Quaker; but even 
he was a very untidy Quaker. 

I paid my respects to the Governor, and found him 
briskly employed in arranging the appointments of offi- 
cers. All the regimental appointments to the volunteer 
regiments — and that is practically to the whole body of the 
army* — are made by the State in which the regiments are 
mustered. AVhen the affair commenced, the captains and 
lieutenants were chosen by the men ; but it was found that 
this would not do. When the skeleton of a State militia 
only was required, such an arrangement was popular and 
not essentially injurious; but now that war had become a 
reality, and that volunteers were required to obey discipline, 
some other mode of promotion was found necessary. As 
far as I could understand, the appointments were in the 
hands of the State Governor, who however was expected, in 
the selection of the superior officers, to be guided by the ex- 
pressed wishes of the regiment, when no objection existed 
to such a choice. In the present instance the Governor's 
course was very thorny. Certain unfinished regiments were 
in the act of being amalgamated — two perfect regiments 
being made up from perhaps five imperfect regiments, and 
so on. But though the privates had not been forthcoming 
to the full number for each expected regiment, there had 
been no such dearth of officers, and consequently the pres- 
ent operation consisted in reducing their number. 

Nothing can be much uglier than the State House at 
Harrisburg, but it commands a magnificent view of one of 
the valleys into which the Alleghany Mountains is broken. 
Harrisburg is immediately under the range, probably at its 
finest point, and the railway running west from the town to 
Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and Chicago, passes right over the 
chain. The Kne has been magnificently engineered, and the 
scenery is very grand. I went over the AUeghanies in mid- 
winter, when they were covered with snow, but even when 

* The army at this time consisted nominally of 660,000 men, of 
whom only 20,000 were regulars. 
VOL. II. — T 


SO seen they were very fine. The view down the valley 
from Altoona, a point near the summit, must in summer be 
excessively lovely. I stopped at Altoona one night, with 
the object of getting about among the hills and making 
the best of the winter view ; but I found it impossible to 
w^alk. The snow had become frozen and was like glass. I 
could not progress a mile in any way. With infinite labor 
I climbed to the top of one little hill, and when there be- 
came aware that the descent would be very much more dif- 
ficult. I did get down, but should not choose to describe 
the manner in which I accomplished the descent. 

In running down the mountains to Pittsburg an accident 
occurred which in any other country would have thrown the 
engine off the line, and have reduced the carriages behind 
the engine to a heap of ruins. But here it had no other 
effect than that of delaying us for three or four hours. 
The tire of one of the heavy driving wheels flew oft", and in 
the shock the body of the wheel itself was broken, one 
spoke and a portion of the circumference of the wheel was 
carried away, and the steam-chamber was ripped open. 
Nevertheless the train was pulled up, neither the engine 
nor any of the carriages got off the line, and the men in 
charge of the train seemed to think very lightly of the mat- 
ter. I was amused to see how little was made of the affair 
by any of the passengers. In England a delay of three 
hours would in itself produce a great amount of grumbling, 
or at least many signs of discomfort and temporary unhap- 
piness. But here no one said a word. Some of the younger 
men got out and looked at the ruined wheel ; but the most 
of the passengers kept their seats, chewed their tobacco, 
and went to sleep. In all such matters an American is 
much more patient than an Englishman. To sit quiet, 
without speech, and ruminate in some contorted position 
of body comes to him by nature. On this occasion I did 
not hear a word of complaint — nor yet a word of surprise 
or thankfulness that the accident had been attended with 
no serious result. "I have got a furlough for ten days," 
one soldier said to me, "and I have missed every con- 
nection all through from Washington here. I shall have 
just time to turn round and go back when I get home." But 
he did not seem to be in any way dissatisfied. He had not 
referred to his relatives when he spoke of "missing his 
connections," but to his want of good fortune as regarded 


railway traveling. He had reached Baltimore too late for 
the train on to Harrisburg, and Harrisburg too late for the 
train on to Pittsburg, Now he must again reach Pittsburg 
too late for his further journey. But nevertheless he seemed 
to be well pleased with his position. 

Pittsburg is the Merthyr-Tydvil of Pennsylvania — or 
perhaps I should better describe it as an amalgamation of 
Swansea, Merthyr-Tydvil, and South Shields. It is, without 
exception, the blackest place which I ever saw. The three 
English towns which I have named are very dirty, but all 
their combined soot and grease and dinginess do not equal 
that of Pittsburg. As regards scenery it is beautifully sit- 
uated, being at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, and 
at the juncture of the two rivers Monongahela and Alle- 
ghany. Here, at the town, they come together, and form 
the River Ohio. Nothing can be more picturesque than the 
site, for the spurs of the mountains come down close round 
the town, and the rivers are broad and swift, and can be 
seen for miles from heights which may be reached in a short 
walk. Even the filth and wondrous blackness of the place 
are picturesque when looked down upon from above. The 
tops of the churches are visible, and some of the larger 
buildings may be partially traced through the thick, brown, 
settled smoke. But the city itself is buried in a dense 
cloud. The atmosphere was especially heavy when I was 
there, and the effect was probably increased by the general 
darkness of the weather. The Monongahela is crossed by 
a fine bridge, and on the other side the ground rises at 
once, almost with the rapidity of a precipice; so that a 
commanding view is obtained down upon the town and the 
two rivers and the different bridges, from a height imme- 
diately above them. I was never more in love with smoke 
and dirt than when I stood here and watched the darkness 
of night close in upon the floating soot which hovered over 
the house-tops of the city. I cannot say that I saw the sun 
set, for there was no sun. I should say that the sun never 
shone at Pittsburg, as foreigners who visit London in No- 
vember declare that the sun never shines there. 

Walking along the river side I counted thirty-two steam- 
ers, all beached upon the shore, with their bows toward the 
land — large boats, capable probably of carrying from one 
to two hundred passengers each, and about three hundred 
tons of merchandise. On inquiry I found that many of 



these were not now at work. They were resting idle, the 
trade down the Mississippi below St. Louis having been cut 
ofi' by the war. Many of them, however, were still running, 
the passage down the river being open to Wheeling in Vir- 
ginia, to Portsmouth, Cincinnati, and the whole of South 
Ohio, to Louisville in Kentucky, and to Cairo in Illinois, 
where the Ohio joins the Mississippi. The amount of traf- 
fic carried on by these boats while the country was at peace 
within itself was very great, and conclusive as to the in- 
creasing prosperity of the people. It seems that everybody 
travels in America, and that nothing is thought of distance. 
A young man will step into a car and sit beside you, with 
that easy, careless air which is common to a railway passen- 
ger in England who is passing from one station to the 
next; and on conversing with him you will find that he is 
going seven or eight hundred miles. He is supplied with 
fresh newspapers three or four times a day as he passes by 
the towns at which they are published ; he eats a large as- 
sortment of gum-drops and apples, and is quite as much at 
home as in his own house. On board the river boats it is 
the same with him, with this exception, that when there he 
can get whisky when he wants it. He knows nothing of the 
ennui of traveling, and never seems to long for the end of 
his journey, as travelers do with us. Should his boat come 
to grief upon the river, and lay by for a day or a night, it 
does not in the least disconcert him. He seats himself upon 
three chairs, takes a bite of tobacco, thrusts his hand into 
his trowsers pockets, and revels in an elysium of his own. 

I was told that the stockholders in these boats were in a 
bad way at the present time. There were no dividends 
going. The same story was repeated as to many and many 
an investment. Where the war created business, as it had 
done on some of the main lines of railroad and in some 
special towns, money was passing very freely; but away 
from this, ruin seemed to have fallen on the enterprise of 
the country. Men were not broken hearted, nor were they 
even melancholy; but they were simply ruined. That is 
nothing in the States, so long as the ruined man has the 
means left to him of supplying his daily wants till he can 
start himself again in life. It is almost the normal condition 
of the American man in business; and therefore I am in- 
clined to think that when this war is over, and things begin 
to settle themselves into new grooves, commerce will recover 


herself move quickly there than she would do among any- 
other people. It is so common a thing to hear of an enter- 
prise that has never paid a dollar of interest on the original 
outlay — of hotels, canals, railroads, banks, blocks of houses, 
etc. that never paid even in the happy days of peace — that 
one is tempted to disregard the absence of dividends, and 
to believe that such a trifling accident will not act as any 
check on future speculation. In no country has pecuniary 
ruin been so common as in the States; but then in no coun- 
try is pecuniary ruin so little ruinous. "We are a recuper- 
ative people," a west-country gentleman once said to me. I 
doubted the propriety of his word, but I acknowledged the 
truth of his assertion. 

Pittsburg and Alleghany — which latter is a town similar 
in its nature to Pittsburg, on the other side of the river of 
the same name — regard themselves as places apart; but 
they are in effect one and the same city. They live under 
the same blanket of soot, which is woven by the joint efforts 
of the two places. Their united population is 135,000, of 
which Alleghany owns about 50,000. The industry of the 
towns is of that sort which arises from a union of coal and 
iron in the vicinity. The Pennsylvanian coal fields are the 
most prolific in the Union ; and Pittsburg is therefore great, 
exactly as Merthyr-Tydvil and Birmingham are great. 
But the foundery work at Pittsburg is more nearly allied to 
the heavy, rough works of the Welsh coal metropolis than 
to the finish and polish of Birmingham. 

"Why cannot you consume your own smoke ?" I asked a 
gentleman there. "Fuel is so cheap that it would not pay," 
he answered. His idea of the advantage of consuming 
smoke was confined to the question of its paying as a sim- 
ple operation in itself. The consequent cleanliness and im- 
provement in the atmosphere had not entered into his cal- 
culations. Any such result might be a fortuitous benefit, 
but was not of sufficient importance to make any effort in 
that direction expedient on its own account. " Coal was 
burned," he said, "in the founderies at something less than 
two dollars a ton; while that was the case, it could not 
answer the purpose of any iron-founder to put up an appa- 
ratus for the consumption of smoke." I did not pursue 
the argument any further, as I perceived that we were look- 
ing at the matter from two different points of view. 

Everything in the hotel was black ; not black to the eye, 
VOL. II. — 1* 


for the eye teaches itself to discriminate colors even when 
loaded with dirt, bat black to the touch. On coming out 
of a tub of water my foot took an impress from the carpet 
exactly as it would have done had I trod barefooted on a 
path laid with soot. I thought that I was turning negro 
upward, till I put my wet hand upon the carpet, and found 
that the result was the same. And yet the carpet was green 
to the eye — a dull, dingy green, but still green. "You 
shouldn't damp your feet," a man said to me, to whom I 
mentioned the catastrophe. Certainly, Pittsburg is the 
dirtiest place I ever saw ; but it is, as I said before, very 
picturesque in its dirt when looked at from above the 

From Pittsburg I went on by train to Cincinnati, and 
was soon in the State of Ohio. I confess that I have never 
felt any great regard for Pennsylvania. It has always had, 
in my estimation, a low character for commercial honesty, 
and a certain flavor of pretentious hypocrisy. This probably 
has been much owing to the acerbity and pungency of Sydney 
Smith's witty denunciations against the drab-colored State. 
It is noted for repudiation of its own debts, and for sharp- 
ness in exaction of its own bargains. It has been always 
smart in banking. It has given Buchanan as a President 
to the country, and Cameron as a Secretary of War to the 
government ! When the battle of Bull's Run was to be 
fought, Pennsylvanian soldiers were the men who, on that 
day, threw down their arms because the three months' term 
for which they had been enlisted was then expired ! Penn- 
sylvania does not, in my mind, stand on a par with Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, or Virginia. We 
are apt to connect the name of Benjamin Franklin with 
Pennsylvania, but Franklin was a Boston man. Neverthe- 
less, Pennsylvania is rich and prosperous. Indeed it bears 
all those marks which Quakers generally leave behind 

I had some little personal feeling in visiting Cincinnati, 
because my mother had lived there for some time, and had 
there been concerned in a commercial enterprise, by which 
no one, I believe, made any great sum of money. Between 
thirty and forty years ago she built a bazaar in Cincinnati, 
which, I was assured by the present owner of the house, was 
at the time of its erection considered to be the great build- 
ing of the town. It has been sadly eclipsed now, and by no 



means rears its head proudly among the great blocks 
around it. It had become a "Physio-medical Institute" 
when I was there, and was under the dominion of a quack 
doctor on one side, and of a college of rights of women 
female medical professors on the other. " I believe, sir, 
no man or woman ever yet made a dollar in that building ; 
and as for rent, I don't even expect it." Such was the 
account given of the unfortunate bazaar by the present 

Cincinnati has long been known as a great town — con- 
spicuous among all towns for the number of hogs which are 
there killed, salted, and packed. It is the great hog metrop- 
olis of the Western States ; but Cincinnati has not grown 
with the rapidity of other towns. It has now 110,000 in- 
habitants, but then it got an early start. St. Louis, which 
is west of it again, near the confluence of the Missouri and 
Mississippi, has gone ahead of it. Cincinnati stands on the 
Ohio River, separated by a ferry from Kentucky, which is a 
slave State. Ohio itself is a free-soil State. When the 
time comes for arranging the line of division, if such time 
shall ever come, it will be ■\iery hard to say where Northern 
feeling ends and where Southern wishes commence. New- 
port and Covington, which are in Kentucky, are suburbs of 
Cincinnati ; and yet in these places slavery is rife. The 
domestic servants are mostly slaves, though it is essential 
that those so kept should be known as slaves who will not 
run away. It is understood that a slave who escapes into 
Ohio will not be caught and given up by the intervention 
of the Ohio police ; and from Covington or Newport any 
slave with ease can escape into Ohio. But when that di- 
vision takes place, no river like the Ohio can form the 
boundary between the divided nations. Such rivers are the 
highways, round which in this country people have clustered 
themselves. A river here is not a natural barrier, but a 
connecting street. It would be as well to make a railway a 
division, or the center line of a city a national boundary. 
Kentucky and Ohio States are joined together by the Ohio 
River, with Cincinnati on one side and Louisville on the 
other ; and I do not think that man's act can upset these 
ties of nature. But between Kentucky and Tennessee there 
is no such bond of union. There a mathematical line has 
been simply drawn, a continuation of that line which divides 
Virginia from North Carolina, to which two latter States 



Kentucky and Tennessee belonged when the thirteen original 
States first formed themselves into a Union. But that math- 
ematical line has oifered no peculiar advantages to popula- 
tion. No great towns cluster there, and no strong social 
interests would be dissevered should Kentucky throw in her 
lot with the North, and Tennessee with the South ; but 
Kentucky owns a quarter of a million of slaves, and those 
slaves must either be emancipated or removed before such a 
junction can be firmly settled. 

The great business of Cincinnati is hog killing now, as it 
used to be in the old days of which I have so often heard. 
It seems to be an established fact, that in this portion of 
the world the porcine genus are all hogs. One never hears 
of a pig. With us a trade in hogs and pigs is subject to 
some little contumely. There is a feeling, which has perhaps 
never been expressed in words, but which certainly exists, 
that these animals are not so honorable in their bearings as 
sheep and oxen. It is a prejudice which by no means exists in 
Cincinnati. There hog killing and salting and packing is 
very honorable, and the great men in the trade are the mer- 
chant princes of the cit3\ I went to see the performance, 
feeling it to be a duty to inspect everywhere that which 
I found to be of most importance ; but I will not describe 
it. There were a crowd of men operating, and I was told 
that the point of honor was to put through" a hog a 
minute. It must be understood that the animal enters upon 
the ceremony alive, and comes out in that cleanly, disem- 
boweled guise in which it may sometimes be seen hanging 
up previous to the operation of the pork butcher's knife. 
To one special man was appointed a performance which 
seemed to be specially disagreeable, so that he appeared 
despicable in my eyes ; but when on inquiry I learned that 
he earned five dollars (or a pound sterling) a day, my judg- 
ment as to his position was reversed. And, after all, what 
matters the ugly nature of such an occupation when a man 
is used to it ? 

Cincinnati is like all other American towns, with seciond, 
third, and fourth streets, seventh, eighth, and ninth streets, 
and so on. Then the cross streets are named chiefly from 
trees. Chestnut, walnut, locust, etc, I do not know whence 
has come this fancy for naming streets after trees in the 
States, but it is very general. The town is well built, with 
good fronts to many of the houses, with large shops and 



larger stores ; of course also with an enormous hotel, which 
has never paid anything like a proper dividend to the spec- 
ulator who built it. It is always the same story. But 
these towns shame our provincial towns by their breadth 
and grandeur. I am afraid that speculators with us are 
trammeled by an ''ignorant impatience of ruin." I should 
not myself like to live in Cincinnati or in any of these towns. 
They are slow, dingy, and uninteresting ; but they all pos- 
sess an air of substantial, civic dignity. It must, however, 
be remembered that the Americans live much more in towns 
than we do. All with us that are rich and aristocratic and 
luxurious live in the country, frequenting the metropolis for 
only a portion of the year. But all that are rich and aristo- 
cratic and luxurious in the States live in the towns. Our 
provincial towns are not generally chosen as the residences 
of our higher classes. 

Cincinnati has 170,000 inhabitants, and there are 14,000 
children at the free schools — which is about one in twelve 
of the whole population. This number gives the average 
of scholars throughout the year ended 30th of June, 1861. 
But there are other schools in Cincinnati — parish schools 
and private schools — and it is stated to me that there were in 
all 32,000 children attending school in the city throughout 
the year. The education at the State schools is very good. 
Thirty-four teachers are employed, at an average sg-lary of 
92Z. each, ranging from 260/. to 60/. per annum. It is in 
this matter of education that the cities of the free States of 
America have done so much for the civilization and welfare 
of their population. This fact cannot be repeated in their 
praise too often. Those who have the management of affairs, 
who are at the top of the tree, are desirous of giving to all 
an opportunity of raising themselves in the scale of human 
beings. I dislike universal suffrage ; I dislike votes by 
ballot ; I dislike above all things the tyranny of democracy. 
But I do like the political feeling — for it is a political feel- 
ing — which induces every educated American to lend a hand 
to the education of his fellow-citizens. It shows, if nothing 
else does so, a germ of truth in that doctrine of equality. 
It is a doctrine to be forgiven when he who preaches it is in 
truth striving to raise others to his own level ; though utterly 
unpardonable when the preacher would pull down others to 
his level. 

Leaving Cincinnati, I again entered a slave State — 



namely, Kentucky. When the war broke out, Kentucky 
took upon itself to say that it would be neutral, as if neu- 
trality in such a position could by any means have been 
possible ! Neutrality on the borders of secession, on the 
battle-field of the coming contest, was of course impossible. 
Tennessee, to the south, had joined the South by a regular 
secession ordinance. Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, to the 
north, were of course true to the Union. Under these cir- 
cumstances it became necessary that Kentucky should choose 
her side. With the exception of the little State of Dela- 
ware, in which from her position secession would have been 
impossible, Kentucky was, I think, less inclined to rebellion, 
more desirous of standing by the North, than any other of 
the slave States. She did all she could, however, to put 
off the evil day of so evil a choice. Abolition within her 
borders was held to be abominable as strongly as it was so 
held in Georgia. She had no sympathy, and could have 
none, with the teachings and preachings of Massachusetts. 
But she did not wish to belong to a confederacy of which 
the Northern States were to be the declared enemy, and be 
the border State of the South under such circumstances. 
She did all she could for personal neutrality. She made 
that effort for general reconciliation of which I have spoken 
as the Crittenden Compromise. But compromises and rec- 
onciliation were not as yet possible, and therefore it was 
necessary that she should choose her part. Her governor 
declared for secession, and at first also her legislature was 
inclined to follow the governor. But no overt act of se- 
cession by the State was committed, and at last it was 
decided that Kentucky should be declared to be loyal. It 
was in fact divided. Those on the southern border joined 
the secessionists ; whereas the greater portion of the State, 
containing Frankfort, the capital, and the would-be seces- 
sionist governor, who lived there, joined the North. Men 
in fact became Unionists or secessionists not by their own 
conviction, but through the necessity of their positions ; 
and Kentucky, through the necessity of her position, became 
one of the scenes of civil war. 

I must confess that the difficulty of the position of the 
whole country seems to me to have been under-estimated in 
England. In common life it is not easy to arrange the 
circumstances of a divorce between man and wife, all whose 
belongings and associations have for many years been in 



common. Their children, their money, their house, their 
friends, their secrets have been joint property, and have 
formed bonds of union. But yet such quarrels may arise, 
such mutual antipathy, such acerbity and even ill usage, 
that all who know them admit that a separation is needed. 
So it is here in the States. Free soil and slave soil could, 
while both were young and unused to power, go on to- 
gether — not without many jars and unhappy bickerings, but 
they did go on together. But now they must part ; and 
how shall the parting be made ? With which side shall go 
this child, and who shall remain in possession of that pleas- 
ant homestead ? Putting secession aside, there w^ere in the 
United States two distinct political doctrines, of which the 
extremes were opposed to each other as pole is opposed to 
pole. We have no such variance of creed, no such radical 
difference as to the essential rules of life between parties in 
our country. We have no such cause for personal rancor 
in our Parliament as has existed for some years past in 
both Houses of Congress. These two extreme parties were 
the slaveowners of the South and the abolitionists of the 
North and West. Fifty years ago the former regarded the 
institution of sl